Jul 26, 2019
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:
\u201cBREAKING: EU's public bank @EIB plans to go #fossilfree! \u270a\u270a\ud83c\udffd\u270a\ud83c\udfff\n\nA crack of light in the darkness \u2013 the EU & national govts are floundering as the planet burns, but the @EIB has made the brave, correct and just proposal to stop funding fossil fuel projects\nhttps://t.co/qKM9ZcvTsJ\u201d— Friends of the Earth Europe\ud83c\udf0d (@Friends of the Earth Europe\ud83c\udf0d) 1564146504
\u201cHuge news! Today, the @EIB announces its draft policy to #StopFundingFossils! With this move, the world\u2019s largest multilateral lender is now poised to leave oil, gas, & coal in the past - a massive step forward on climate leadership. https://t.co/ZwsMhKI7yW #ClimateLeadership\u201d— Oil Change International (@Oil Change International) 1564152468
\u201cBREAKING:\nEU bank is ditching coal, oil & gas!\n\nNew energy lending policy of @EIB rules out future loans to #fossilfuels \n\nPeople power works! \u270a \n#FossilFreeEIB \n\nhttps://t.co/Xg3je2Sbi3\u201d— 350 Europe (@350 Europe) 1564154996
In a draft paper (pdf) on its new energy lending policy dated July 24 and released on Friday, the EIB says:
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."
\u201cOver the last few months, we've listened to NGOs, public institutions and a variety of stakeholders to review our energy lending policy. \n\ud83d\udd16 Here\u2019s our draft proposal for more ambitious #ClimateAction to support the energy transformation https://t.co/HLxDMb2vJ2\u201d— European Investment Bank (@European Investment Bank) 1564151696
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.
\u201cThanks for ditching fossil fuels, @EIB! \ud83d\udc90\n\nNow ministers of key EU countries and the EU Commission must support the new policy of the EU Bank which ends loans to dirty gas, coal & oil.\n\n@OlafScholz @BrunoLeMaire @peteraltmaier @vonderleyen \n\nWill you support a #FossilFreeEIB?\u201d— 350 Europe (@350 Europe) 1564155277
\u201c\ud83d\udcefGreat news! The @EIB (the EU\u2019s bank) just issued a proposal to END all financing of fossil fuels!\n\n1. People power works \u270a\n2. The fossil fuel industry is losing \ud83d\ude0a\n3. Time for our governments to follow! \ud83d\udc49\n\nBravo @EIB!\n\nhttps://t.co/v8VAB2sbUW\u201d— 350 Europe (@350 Europe) 1564156810
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