On 14 December 2023, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could decide to end all fossil fuel investments
Two days* after COP 28 is due to conclude, the board of directors of the EBRD, a multilateral development bank owned by 72 governments, will vote on its new Energy Sector Strategy. This policy will guide the Bank’s energy investments until 2028.
7 December 2023
Between 2018 and 2021, the EBRD pumped EUR 2.9 billion in public money into oil and fossil gas projects around the world.
Now, public calls for the EBRD to stop backing the fossil fuel industry are growing louder. During public consultations on the energy strategy, the Bank received over 6200 emails demanding that it finally divest from fossil fuels. In late September, an open letter signed by Bankwatch and 130 civil society groups from over 40 countries urged the EBRD to join, not impede, the global effort to tackle the climate crisis. They called on the Bank to fully exclude support for fossil gas, including through financial intermediaries, and to increase investments in a just energy transition.
At COP 28, the EU is lobbying governments to end all fossil fuel subsidies. The EBRD, in which EU countries hold a collective share of over 50 per cent, must not undermine this effort.
Yet, despite the Bank boasting that its activities are in ‘full alignment’ with the Paris Agreement, the draft strategy, released in July, indicates that the EBRD might in fact continue financing fossil gas projects, particularly pipelines and power plants.
In recent years, the EBRD has gradually restricted its backing for fossil fuels and, based on its draft energy strategy, could impose new conditions on the financing of fossil gas infrastructure. Yet, despite warnings from the world’s top experts such as the IPCC and the IEA, the Bank’s shareholders appear determined to keep sinking public money into fossil energy.
Civil society groups call on the EBRD’s board of directors to acknowledge the climate emergency and ensure that the Bank’s next energy strategy ends all support for fossil gas.
*We have updated the date of the board meeting in light of new information.
For additional information and comments, please contact:
Gas Campaign Lead, CEE Bankwatch Network
Communications Officer, CEE Bankwatch Network
+420-737-294-589 (also via Signal and Whatsapp)
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Theme: fossil fuel