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'Bravo!' 'Great News!': Cheers as European Investment Bank Unveils Proposal to Stop Funding Fossil Fuel Projects

"With this move, the world's largest multilateral lender is now poised to leave oil, gas, and coal in the past," says Oil Change International, praising it as "a massive step forward on climate leadership."

 Young activists hold up their posters as they take part in a Fridays for Future demonstration for urgent climate action on June 14, 2019 in Hamburg, northern Germany.

 Young activists hold up their posters as they take part in a Fridays for Future demonstration for urgent climate action on June 14, 2019 in Hamburg, northern Germany. (Photo: Georg Wendt/AFP/Getty Images)

Climate campaigners cheered on Friday after the European Investment Bank revealed a proposal to phase out funding for fossil fuel projects by the end of 2020.

In a nod to activists pushing for a "fossil-free EIB," the financing institution, which is the lending arm of the E.U., said the climate-friendly plan came after listening "to NGOs, public institutions, and a variety of stakeholders to review our energy lending policy."

"If that doesn't give you that happy #FridayFeeling we don't know what will," tweeted the European arm of Food & Watch Watch.

Other groups took to Twitter the celebrate the development as well:

In a draft paper (pdf) on its new energy lending policy dated July 24 and released on Friday, the EIB says:

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the bank will phase out support to energy projects reliant on fossil fuels: oil and gas production, infrastructure primarily dedicated to natural gas, power generation or heat based on fossil fuels. These types of projects will not be presented for approval to the EIB Board beyond the end of 2020. While it fully understands the role fossil fuels will continue to play within E.U. energy systems for at least the coming decade, the Bank provides higher additionality by focusing on the longer-term challenge and investment needs of the energy sector. As a result, all the Bank’s activities in the energy sector will be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement.

The EIB also shared video of bank vice president Andrew McDowell summing up the new proposals, which he said would be in line with the "need to support the energy infrastructure of the future."

As McDowell said in the video, the proposal still needs the nod of approval of the EIB's board of directors, which is comprised of E.U. finance ministers. They are set to discuss the proposal in September.

350 Europe pointed to that crucial step and also suggested the E.U. Commision and national governments follow suit with climate leadership.

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