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:
BREAKING: EU's public bank @EIB plans to go #fossilfree!— Friends of the Earth (@foeeurope) July 26, 2019
A crack of light in the darkness – 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 projectshttps://t.co/qKM9ZcvTsJ
Huge news! Today, the @EIB announces its draft policy to #StopFundingFossils! With this move, the world’s 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— Oil Change International (@PriceofOil) July 26, 2019
BREAKING:— 350.org Europe (@350Europe) July 26, 2019
EU bank is ditching coal, oil & gas!
New energy lending policy of @EIB rules out future loans to #fossilfuels
People power works! #FossilFreeEIB https://t.co/Xg3je2Sbi3 pic.twitter.com/1gqQmtbHJd
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."
Over the last few months, we've listened to NGOs, public institutions and a variety of stakeholders to review our energy lending policy.— European Investment Bank (@EIB) July 26, 2019
Here’s our draft proposal for more ambitious #ClimateAction to support the energy transformation https://t.co/HLxDMb2vJ2 pic.twitter.com/JCuMnFEer5
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.
Thanks for ditching fossil fuels, @EIB!— 350.org Europe (@350Europe) July 26, 2019
Now 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.@OlafScholz @BrunoLeMaire @peteraltmaier @vonderleyen
Will you support a #FossilFreeEIB? pic.twitter.com/CplkeahgYW
Great news! The @EIB (the EU’s bank) just issued a proposal to END all financing of fossil fuels!— 350.org Europe (@350Europe) July 26, 2019
1. People power works
2. The fossil fuel industry is losing
3. Time for our governments to follow!