FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

14 November 2019

Contact:
Alex Doukas, alex@priceofoil.org
Bronwen Tucker, bronwen@priceofoil.org

Response: European Investment Bank’s new energy policy makes strides towards fossil-free finance but falls short of meeting the Paris goals

Today the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a new energy lending policy that will end the majority of its financing for fossil fuels beyond 2021. The new policy ends the Bank’s financing of oil, gas, and coal projects after 2021, and limits approvals of new fossil fuel projects in the interim to projects that are already under appraisal by the EIB.

In response, Alex Doukas, Lead Analyst with Oil Change International, released the following statement:

“This new policy is a signal to the wider financial community that the era of fossil fuels is past. The policy approved today positions the EIB ahead of its peers by starting from the assumption that new fossil fuel infrastructure is not acceptable if we are serious about fighting climate change, but it is weaker than the original proposal as a result of blockers like Germany and the European Commission, who pushed for fossil gas loopholes.”

“The inability of the EIB to pass a policy consistent with the Paris Agreement underscores the hold the fossil fuel industry still has over EU politics. Gas lobbyists were able to convince many parties — most significantly Germany and the European Commission — to override public support for a fossil free EIB, and write significant concessions into this policy. However, with people-powered movements for climate action stronger than ever, the gas industry will face an uphill battle in using these EIB loopholes to get new projects funded by 2021.”

“The public has been clear that they expect real action on climate change, and all eyes will be on Germany and the European Commission to do better in the tests that lie ahead, or they will face political consequences.”

The decision comes as EU politicians are set to deliberate on a number of key climate policies, including the European Green Deal.

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Notes:
  • Previous analysis by Oil Change International indicated the EIB’s fossil fuel finance has averaged more than EUR 2 billion annually since 2013, with the largest portion going to gas infrastructure projects.
  • The campaign for a Fossil Free EIB has included rallies, tens of thousands of participants sending petitions and emails, sign-on letters from civil society, business groups, and academic institutions, and endorsements from student climate strikers among other initiatives.
  • Environmental law charity ClientEarth warned the EIB board that continued lending for fossil fuel projects will breach its legal duties.
  • Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy.

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