On the occasion of the EU Sustainable Energy Week, a new Bankwatch analysis shows that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been effectively hindering Europe’s energy transition.
The full briefing can be found here >>
The EIB has so far followed through most of the priorities set in its 2013 energy strategy, but a closer look at the European investments of the world’s largest public bank in energy efficiency, renewable energy vis-a-vis fossil fuels reveals that its contribution to the global effort to tackle the climate crisis remains insufficient at best.
Most notably, during 2013-2015, EIB lending to renewables in Europe has dropped whereas its lending to fossil fuels has modestly but consistently increased.
Moreover, while EU leaders have repeatedly emphasised the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle, the EIB has been lagging behind with only 3.6% of its lending across sectors going to energy conservation projects.
According to EIB data, in the years 2013-2015, electricity transmission and distribution projects were the main benefactors of the bank’s loans to Europe’s energy sector, receiving approximately 40 percent of the bank’s total EUR 27 billion energy lending.
At the same time, the EIB’s financing for renewables from its energy portfolio has been just slightly higher than for hydrocarbons – EUR 8 billion compared to EUR 7 billion, respectively.
Among renewable energy projects, the EIB has prioritized support for wind power, allocating a total of EUR 4.5 billion to this sector, compared with less than half a billion euros for solar energy.
Yet, by 2015 EIB investments in wind energy have fallen sharply, even though industry data show this was a record year for investments in new wind energy projects.
These trends are even more pronounced in the EU’s newer member states. Over this three year period, the EIB has extended only six loans to renewable energy projects in EU-13 countries. So far, only three countries – Sweden, Bulgaria and Estonia – have met their 2020 renewable energy targets.
Anna Roggenbuck, EIB Policy Officer at CEE Bankwatch Network, says:
“The EIB appears to have failed to grasp the magnitude of climate crisis and the opportunity for Europe to take a truly sustainable energy path. Bankwatch’s analyses have repeatedly shown that if Europe is to meet its climate and energy objectives, as part of the global effort to stem climate change, the EU’s bank has to up its game.”
For more information contact:
EIB Policy Officer, CEE Bankwatch Network
annar AT bankwatch.org
Mobile: +48 509970424
Office: +48 91 831 5392
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