September 26, 2018

Alex Doukas, alex [at]

Oil Change International Responds to EBRD Release of Draft Energy Sector Strategy

On September 25, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) released a revised draft of its energy sector strategy. The draft of the new strategy is due to be finalized by the end of 2018, and will have bearing on billions of dollars in public finance for energy. 

After a detailed review of the new draft, Alex Doukas, Program Director at Oil Change International, made the following statement: 

“This draft strategy is an embarrassment. For a bank that claims to be a leader on climate change, the EBRD is quickly falling to the back of the pack. With this draft, EBRD isn’t even meeting the minimum bar set by the World Bank Group when they committed to end financing for oil and gas extraction in 2017.

“The EBRD draft strategy actually promotes expanding the use of fossil gas, while also failing to go as far as is needed to end public finance for oil and coal. If the world hopes to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement – goals that the EBRD officially endorsed last year – then taxpayer-backed handouts to the fossil fuel industry need to end now. That means government-backed banks like the EBRD need to stop funding fossils.

“The new the EBRD strategy reads like it was written in 2008, not 2018. Given all that we know about the urgent need to act on climate change, the EBRD’s proposed strategy is a far cry from the leadership the world needs today. That’s why 65 civil society organizations have signed on to a letter calling on the EBRD to put an end to its fossil fuel finance.

“The good news is that the EBRD still has a chance to redeem their new energy strategy before it is finalized in the coming months. The bank can rest assured it will be hearing from concerned voices from across the globe until it does.”


Notes to Editors:

  • On September 26, civil society released a letter signed by 65 organizations calling on the EBRD to end its financing for oil, gas, and coal and to increase its ambition.
  • On September 25, EBRD released a draft revised energy sector strategy for comment. EBRD expects to further revise the strategy after a 45-day public comment period through November 9th, and to finalize the revised energy strategy by the end of 2018.
  • Analysis indicates that expansion of fossil fuel production (and therefore public finance supporting the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure that enables additional production) is incompatible with the aims of the Paris Agreement.