Late yesterday, the board of directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a landmark new energy lending policy, committing to phase out lending to fossil fuels by 2021.
With this historic decision, the EIB is now the first multilateral development bank to commit to phasing out lending to fossil fuels.
As the world’s largest multilateral development bank, the EIB is setting a new stretch goal for public banks and financial institutions worldwide. Having previously phased out lending to coal in 2013, the EIB is now signalling an end to oil and gas finance too.
This is a clear signal to markets around the world that these technologies have become inherently risky in the context of global climate ambition.
The decision comes after almost a year of internal debate, and a commitment by incoming European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, to make the EIB a Climate Bank. The EIB proposal to phase out fossil fuels initially faced opposition from some countries but a compromise deal has now been approved by a majority.
Nick Mabey, Chief Executive of E3G said:
“Today, Europe is sending a clear signal that it intends to move away from risky fossil fuel investments, toward the climate-neutral future that its citizens want. This is an important achievement. The EIB is sending a message to other financial institutions that investment in fossil fuels is drawing to an end.”
Notes to Editors
- The EIB press release can be viewed here.