Climate and environment

Climate and environment

We are supporting the transition to a low-carbon, environmental friendly and climate-resilient economy. As the largest multilateral provider of climate finance worldwide, we commit at least 25% of our lending portfolio to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth.

In 2016, the EIB provided EUR 16.9 billion to support environmental projects. For example, we backed safer drinking water for 25 million people worldwide. On climate action, the EIB exceeded its target for the seventh year running, providing over EUR 19 billion to help mitigate climate change and adapt to its impact. This represents 26% of total EIB lending in 2016.

As the EU bank, we understand the need to promote environmental goals in both developed and developing countries. Our funding supports sustainable projects in over 160 countries and acts as a catalyst to mobilise private finance for climate action, encouraging others to match our long-term investment. To date, we are the world’s largest issuer of Green Bonds.

In support of the Paris agreement, the EU Bank also committed to increase its lending for action in developing countries to 35% of total lending by 2020.

Environmental protection

We back projects that promote clean air, biodiversity and sustainable transport, guarding the environment in which our children will live, even as we innovate to make their future more prosperous. Environmental concerns are reflected in all our projects, to conform to our corporate responsibility commitments.

Solar energy powers ahead in Ouarzazate

The Noor Ouarzazate solar power complex harnesses the potential of the most abundant source of energy in North Africa – the sun. Thanks to the support of the EU and the EIB, among others, Morocco has started its own path towards becoming a sustainable-energy country.

Climate action: supporting small islands

Small islands are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Discover in this interactive map how the European Investment Bank is helping them adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects.


World leaders reached the first global agreement to tackle climate change at the COP21 in Paris, confirmed at COP22 in Marrakech. The EU bank, as the largest multilateral provider of finance to support climate action, is playing a key part in making this agreement a reality. Over the next five years, the EIB expects to provide around USD 100 billion for investment in climate projects around the world.

Our approach to climate action

All of our climate action work aims to put EU climate policy objectives into practice and is guided by our climate strategy. Published in 2015, the strategy shapes our medium to long-term actions worldwide. It will help implement the Paris agreement both inside and outside the EU by focusing on:

  • High impact projects, financial innovation and further support for the Green Bond market.
  • Projects which are more resilient to climate change or which facilitate adaptation to its effects, and the development of tools to assess climate risk and vulnerability.
  • Continued “mainstreaming: the integration of climate action considerations throughout the methods and processes that we use to assess and monitor climate action in all our investment projects.

Impact and projects

Tackling climate change worldwide

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We are increasingly working on ways to finance climate action projects with a positive impact for local people – in Europe and beyond. This is the example of Runa and Terrafertil, two environmental-friendly businesses from Ecuador.

Continued mainstreaming: Climate action and our investment projects

At the preparation stage, we screen projects by analysing the following:

  • Adjusted economic and financial rates of return: When appraising the economic case for a project resulting in a significant change of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) we incorporate an economic cost of carbon.
  • Carbon footprint: An assessment of GHG emissions of the investment projects we finance is carried out based on sector-specific methodologies.

For all fossil fuel generation projects, a specific Emissions Performance Standard is applied in order to screen out investments whose carbon emissions exceed a threshold level.

  • Climate change vulnerability: For projects, sectors and areas particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, we require the promoter to consider climate risks and to incorporate adaption measures into project design and operation.
  • Carbon credit potential assessment: The potential of a project to generate tradable carbon credits is assessed. Technical assistance can be provided to promoters to help them exploit this potential.

Our internal carbon footprint

In addition to the carbon footprint methodologies we have developed to measure absolute greenhouse gas emissions generated by the projects we finance, we are also committed to minimising our internal carbon footprint as one of our corporate responsibility objectives. The progressive reduction of our carbon footprint is one of our sustainability objectives.

Climate finance pioneer

We are partnering with others to unlock further investment in climate and environmental projects. Our traditional financing products are medium and long-term loans with fixed or variable interest rates in euros or other currencies.

We finance large projects with direct project loans whereas we support smaller projects indirectly, through credit lines to local banks or other intermediaries. We complement our traditional lending with innovative finance products: