The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU's financing department, will bar funding for most fossil fuel projects to become the world’s first ‘“climate bank”.
The bank will end its financing of oil, gas, and coal projects after 2021, and will accelerate clean energy innovation, energy efficiency and renewables. EIB Group financing will unlock EUR 1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainable investment in the decade to 2030, it said.
Over the last five years the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 65 billion of financing for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy distribution.
“Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer. “Scientists estimate that we are currently heading for 3-4°C of temperature increase by the end of the century. If that happens, large portions of our planet will become uninhabitable, with disastrous consequences for people around the world. The EU bank has been Europe’s climate bank for many years. Today it has decided to make a quantum leap in its ambition. We will stop financing fossil fuels and we will launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere.”
Stressing the need for cooperation, he added: “I would like to thank the shareholders of the bank, the EU Member States, for their cooperation over the past months. We look forward to working closely with them and with the EU Council of Ministers, with the European Commission, the European Parliament, international and financial institutions and, crucially, with the private sector, to support a climate neutral European economy by 2050.”
The EU bank has been Europe’s climate bank for a long time. Since 2012, the EIB provided EUR 150 billion of finance supporting EUR 550 billion of investment in projects that reduce emissions and help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. This made the EIB one of the world’s largest multilateral providers of finance for projects supporting these objectives.