EIB outlines new energy lending criteria
26 June 2013, European Voice
Controversy remains over whether the bank should fund coal plants.
The European Investment Bank published new plans for assessment criteria for energy projects yesterday (24 June), but the plan did little to calm controversy over whether the bank should be funding coal plants.
EIB lending criteria are meant to be in line with European Union priorities. Campaigners have argued that the current criteria, which allow funding to go to coal power plants, are contrary to the bloc’s climate change goals. Last year the EU lending bank was subject to a hoax by a green campaign group, which sent out a fake press release purportedly from the bank announcing it was pulling out of coal projects.
The new criteria proposes to screen out further lending to unabated coal and lignite power plants by setting an Emission Performance Standard of 550gCO2/kWh power generated. This standard is benchmarked to the emission reductions required by the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Directive.
However the benchmark would still allow financing of some coal plants, including high efficiency coal-fired combined heat and power plants, plants with carbon capture and storage and coal stations co-fired with biomass. Exceptions to the standard could be made for projects on the basis of security of supply in isolated systems and for peaking plants.
“Not only does the bank plan to continue investing in fossil fuels including coal, it is also actively encouraging the development of unconventional fossil fuels,” said Anna Roggenbuck of financing watchdog group Bankwatch. “The proposed draft would allow the EIB to finance new coal units Rybnik in Poland or the Stanari lignite plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina and potentially other similar projects around the Balkans. This is absolutely not the type of projects the bank of the European Union should be endorsing if it is to further the EU’s long term climate objectives.”
The EIB Board of Directors will vote on the proposals at their next meeting on 23 July 2013.
Theme: Energy & climate