European Investment Bank restricts lending for fossil fuels

Luxembourg, 23 July – The board and shareholders of the European Investment Bank (EIB) have approved a move to increase the criteria that fossil fuel projects must meet in order to receive funding. The move is intended to target funding towards cleaner energy projects and contribute investment towards Europe’s 20/20/20 goals.

Luxembourg, 23 July – The board and shareholders of the European Investment Bank (EIB) have approved a move to increase the criteria that fossil fuel projects must meet in order to receive funding. The move is intended to target funding towards cleaner energy projects and contribute investment towards Europe’s 20/20/20 goals.

The EIB is the world’s largest public lender, and since 2007 has provided more than €70 billion for energy projects in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Of this, around €20 billion went to fossil fuel projects.

However, projects must now reach an Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) of 550 grams of CO2 per Kilowatt Hour (g/kWh), which campaigners say is consistent with decarbonisation targets, though higher than initially hoped for. However, it is expected that a new EPS will emerge as new targets are drawn up for 2030.

The European Commission, which has a seat on the EIB board, pushed for a 450g/kWh EPS. However, members finally agreed to the 550g/kWh EPS on the condition that this is kept under review as technologies advance, and that it is reviewed in the second half of 2014. The 450g/kWh EPS would have been in line with the currently non-binding 2050 target of 80-95% emission reductions.

In order to not exemptions are in place for projects that can demonstrably alleviate poverty – particularly in Africa – or provide energy security for periphery regions. It is understood that Germany also pushed for a higher ceiling for coal financing, but meet resistance from the UK, Sweden, Austria and the Commission.

For more information, visit the European Investment Bank’s public consultation page 

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