The long awaited revision of the European Investment Bank’s energy policy has been kicked off yesterday with a consultation paper (pdf) calling for public inputs on its energy lending.
If you care about greening Europe’s energy sector in the coming years, then this is crunch time:
- While the EIB has already increased its lending to renewable energy sources, it is not envisaging a phase out of its support for fossil fuels and even coal. (The Sostanj lignite power plant in Slovenia is so big that its C02 emissions would swallow the country’s entire carbon budget by 2050.)
- At the same time the bank could do much more to downsize our energy use by investing more into energy efficiency measures. This is especially so in central and eastern Europe: In 2011, only 176,4 million euros went to projects in CEE that would reduce the still enormous energy intensity.
- The EIB’s climate friendly energy lending in general shows a strong bias towards old EU Member States and thus offers CEE countries only little incentive to reduce their dependency on coal or other fossil fuels.
By improving what kind of energy the European Union’s long-term financing institution supports, Europe could make an important step towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions – and create jobs along the way.
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