World’s largest public lender almost doubles support to fossil fuels in past 4 years
Brussels — The European Investment Bank has increased its fossil fuel lending from 2.8 billion euros to 5 billion euros between 2007 and 2010, according to a study published today by environmental NGO CEE Bankwatch Network.
8 December 2011
Brussels — The European Investment Bank has increased its fossil fuel lending from 2.8 billion euros to 5 billion euros between 2007 and 2010, according to a study published today by environmental NGO CEE Bankwatch Network .
The EIB is the European Union’s house bank, committed to furthering the EU’s goals, including reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and by 80-95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. Energy represents the second largest lending category in the bank’s overall portfolio which has reached 72 billion euros in 2010, making this institution a bigger lender than the World Bank. In the analysed four year period, fossil fuels represent the largest energy lending category, with 16 billion euros given by the EIB to fossil fuels compared to 13 billion euros to new renewables  in the same period.
“Our study highlights once more the secret hypocrisy at the heart of EU climate action,” comments Piotr Trzaskowski, Bankwatch energy coordinator. “While the EU appears to be the world’s most progressive actor in the global struggle against climate change, the financial arm of the union is putting billions of euros of public money into energy infrastructure that will lock in countries into a fossil-fuel dependent path for four-five decades. While the bank has made a commendable push to increase lending to renewables in the past years, we fear positive effects are lost because of massive investments in fossil fuels.”
According to the Bankwatch study, a mere 5 percent of all energy investments of the bank has gone to energy efficiency, while at the same time the bank has continued to finance coal power plants, including large new installations in Germany and Slovenia . In the new EU member states, the EIB has predominantly supported high-carbon types of energy, thus petrifying the current unsustainable energy system in the eastern part of the EU.
“It is imperative that the EIB revises its energy policy in line with climate science as well as with EU 2050 climate objectives,” says Anna Roggenbuck, Bankwatch EIB coordinator. “The EIB should immediately stop lending to coal, the most carbon intensive type of energy generation, and develop and implement a plan to phase out lending to other fossil fuels and prioritise energy efficiency as the most important area of intervention.”
For more information, contact:
Bankwatch EIB coordinator
annar AT bankwatch.org
+ 48 509 970 424
Bankwatch energy coordinator
piotr.trzaskowski AT bankwatch.org
Notes for the editors:
1. Read the Bankwatch study at: https://bankwatch.org/publications/carbon-rising-european-investment-bank-energy-lending-2007-2010
2. Bankwatch methodology (categorisation of projects) differs from the EIB one. Please consult Bankwatch methodology on page 29 of the study.
3. Read more about the new coal plant in Slovenia financed by the EIB:
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