EBRD renewable investments finally matched its fossil fuel investments in 2017 – So why is the bank’s draft Energy Strategy still fixated with gas?
Briefing | 15 October 2018
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has recently issued a new draft Energy Strategy for public consultation that will define its activities in the energy sector from 2019-2023. It clearly commits to halt all direct financing for coal projects and not to finance any upstream oil exploration. It also commits not to finance upstream oil development projects except in rare and exceptional circumstances where the projects reduce GHG emissions or flaring.
However, while placing some limitations on financing for gas, the draft Strategy generally gives it too much prominence as a so-called “bridging fuel” on the way to decarbonisation – much more prominence than is given to energy saving and even to sustainable renewables.
This is, in our opinion, unwarranted, as the bank’s lending in recent years has shown that it is able to do ramp up lending for renewables.
Our analysis of the EBRD’s energy lending during the current strategy period, from 2014 to 2017 has shown a significant change in relation to previous years.