European Investment Bank’s support for fossil fuel runs against EU climate targets

Posted on 25 June 2013    
WWF points out that the over-exploitation of fossil fuels - such as coal, gas and oil - is putting the whole of humanity under threat from climate change.

Brussels, Belgium: The world’s largest public financial institution, the European Investment Bank, yesterday released its disappointing draft “Energy Lending policy”. WWF is concerned that actions in the framework of this review of EU’s public bank, do not support a 2°C climate change limit in Europe by 2050. This needs to change and the EIB needs to support a 100% renewable energy scenario. In addition, the EIB requires improved standards on hydropower, which is  frequently controversial because of its impact on nature.”

The review plainly shows the EIB currently does not see stopping investment in unsustainable fuels like fossil fuels or nuclear energy as a priority. The EIB needs to change its focus immediately and support only renewable energy and energy conservation, to reach climate change target.
Quotes from WWF European Policy Office
Sebastien Godinot, Economist WWF
“We are very disappointed that the EIB has not announced a clear phase out of support for coal. Instead it has opted to impose an emissions cap based on the amount of energy being produced (1). But over the long-term this just won’t work.  The cap is set at least 60% too high, the 5 year review periods are too long and there are too many possible exceptions”.
“The EIB says that it is committed to “continued prioritisation of renewable energy projects” and ensures that energy efficiency investments “remain a high priority” but there are no measurable targets on how the EIB will ensure increased support for both sectors.”
Jason Anderson, Head of European Climate and Energy Policy
 “We are disappointed that the EIB still doesn’t accept renewables as the new norm in energy production.  It is obvious that the message has not gotten through to its board so we are using our latest Seize Your Power campaign to ask the EIB and other leading financial institutions to refocus their energy investments on renewable energy instead of locking us into fossil fuel use for the next decades.”
“WWF will provide more detailed recommendations to the EIB and its Board members before they are due to vote the energy lending policy on the 23rd of July.” 
Notes for the editor
(1) The Emission Performance Standard is an absolute cap of emissions per kWh of electricity produced in a power plant. The EIB wants to set  this at 550 g CO2/kWh, following current practice, instead of taking a step that will have real meaning and set it at  350 g CO2/kWh.
WWF 5 priorities for the EIB energy lending reviews are:
1. Set up a new EIB energy lending policy consistent with EU climate goals - focusing on delivering a European zero‐emission energy system by 2050;
2. Immediately phase out EIB support for coal, given the urgency of climate change mitigation;
3. Avoid the unsustainable expansion of gas, by limiting EIB lending to sustainable biogas;
4. Ensure strengthened sustainability criteria for hydropower inside and outside the EU;
5. Boost energy savings and renewable energies lending – with a greater emphasis on the refurbishment of buildings and a pivotal role in targeted securitization platforms.
EIB draft energy lending policy:
For further information:

Philippe Carr
WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 476 25 68 79
WWF points out that the over-exploitation of fossil fuels - such as coal, gas and oil - is putting the whole of humanity under threat from climate change.
© WWF / Mauri RAUTKARI Enlarge

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