Environmental protection

Citizens worldwide increasingly face the effects of environmental degradation in their daily lives. The European Investment Bank, the EU's climate bank, is taking action to preserve natural resources and protect the environment for future generations.

We invest in projects in over 160 countries by providing lending and advisory expertise. Our support acts as a catalyst to mobilise private finance by encouraging other public and private investors to match our long-term investment. All our projects are carefully checked for alignment with our environmental and social principles and standards, to ensure they conform with our corporate responsibility commitments.

Sustainable transport, including transport safety

We encourage a shift away from private transport by investing in sustainable public transport solutions. We support sustainable shipping, road, air safety and other transport projects which aim to:

  • facilitate growth and job creation
  • cut greenhouse gas emissions
  • reduce noise pollution
  • improve air quality
  • promote safety

Environmental protection, biodiversity and natural resources

We support EU policy to halt the loss of biodiversity by seeking to minimise negative impacts and enhance natural habitats through all our projects. We make prior assessments to better understand the biodiversity implications of our actions. We also work with the European Task Force on Banking, Business and Biodiversity and the European Commission's Nature and Biodiversity Unit.

Forests are major carbon stores and play a key role in our fight for climate action. Forests also help with the adaptation to some of the effects of climate change, such as soil erosion and increased flood risk. Our activities support the full forest value chain, including restoration of forests, afforestation and forest industries, with the aim to protect biodiversity and foster rural economic growth and employment.

Agriculture is essential to livelihoods and food security. It is also a primary basis for local entrepreneurship, employment and social development in many countries around the world. As the EU bank, the European Investment Bank supports the rural economy to benefit entrepreneurs and society as a whole. And we do it sustainably.

Sustainable Oceans and Blue Economy

The EIB is investing in the sustainable blue economy and supporting initiatives aimed at reducing marine pollution and preserving marine and coastal ecosystems.

Considering the importance of oceans and the threats that they face, we are stepping up our lending and advisory activities through the EIB Clean and Sustainable Ocean Programme.

Find out more on the dedicated page on Sustainable Oceans and Blue Economy

Depollution including noise, clean air, clean water

Pollution prevention and control are key pillars of EU environmental policy. As the EU bank, we promote an integrated approach to prevention and control of emissions into air, water and soil for the protection of the environment as a whole. and we finance specific depollution projects.

Our standards, which are applied to all projects, provide project promoters with clear requirements for preventing, reducing and, as far as possible, eliminating pollution arising from different activities during the entire project lifecycle - from design to decommissioning. Our environmental and social handbook provides an outline of EIB’s standards.

Water supply and wastewater

We back a diverse range of projects related to the provision and management of water:

  • Water supply
  • Wastewater treatment and disposal
  • Coastal erosion
  • Flood control

We offer long term financing and technical advice, as well as support for research, development and innovation. Most of our water and wastewater activity is located in the EU, but we also support international initiatives such as the ACP-EU Water FacilityHorizon 2020 and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.

Circular economy and waste management

The EIB supports the transition towards a circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised.

Circular economy projects typically reduce resource consumption and waste generation which results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Disaster risk management, recovery and reconstruction

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, mudslides, avalanches and landslides, put human lives, ecosystems and economies at risk. Investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction is essential to enhance the resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment.

The EIB works on strengthening national and international governance, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction endorsed by the United Nations in 2015, in relation to natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation. Our climate strategy promotes a risk management approach to increase the resilience of assets, communities and ecosystems related to EIB projects.

We also support post-disaster reconstruction projects, a critical opportunity to build back better - including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures.


Energy systems need a substantial transformation to meet long-term climate targets and this is an important sector for EIB financing. We focus on:

  • Unlocking energy efficiency: Increased energy efficiency lowers costs of decarbonisation. We typically support projects that include retrofitting and expansion of existing social and urban infrastructure and services.
  • Supporting the decarbonication of energy supply: We focus on the development and expansion of renewable energy projects in Europe and beyond ─ onshore and offshore wind farms, solar, hydropower, geothermal and solid biomass projects, among others – and the development of innovation and enabling infrastructure.
  • Sustainable energy project advice: Many EU towns and regions lack the necessary technical expertise and organisational capacity to implement large energy efficiency and renewables projects. ELENA (“European Local ENergy Assistance”) is there to help. It covers up to 90% of the technical support cost needed to prepare, implement and finance the investment programme. Run by the EIB, it is funded by the European Commission