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  • Draft energy lending policy follows largest ever public consultation of EIB lending
  • Proposals to strengthen EIB support for decarbonisation, energy efficiency and innovation
  • Discussions expected to continue at October meeting

Meeting in Zagreb ahead of the Croatian Presidency of the European Union, the EIB Board of Directors today had a first reading of the bank’s proposed new draft energy lending policy.

“Achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and addressing climate change requires a profound transformation of our economy and our society. We simply cannot shoulder the costs of inaction! Approving the future EIB energy lending policy will be a critical part of the EU’s response to addressing climate change and strengthening the EIB’s role as the EU Climate Bank.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

Detailed deliberations of the new draft energy lending policy are expected to resume at the next Board of Directors meeting in Luxembourg on 15th October.

“Today we began the discussion at the Board of Directors on the draft Energy Lending Policy of the Bank, which aims to maximise the Bank’s support for the clean energy investments needed to deliver the EU’s ambitious climate goals, including phasing out our support for fossil fuels. We will over the coming weeks provide extensive clarifications and assurances to ensure a fair and balanced package of supports for all Member States during the energy transition, and we will continue the discussion in October.” said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President with oversight responsibility for energy.

The EIB Board of Directors consists of representatives of the 28 EU member states and the European Commission and is the statutory body responsible for approval of new policies and operational strategy adopted by the EIB.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and over the last 5 years has provided more than EUR 49 billion for energy investment worldwide.

Ambitious new energy lending policy driven by climate considerations

The proposed new energy lending policy seeks to make the EIB’s energy lending consistent with Europe’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and the EIB’s own ambition to strengthen its role as EU Climate Bank. The proposed policy includes detailed policy commitments to phase out support for energy projects reliant on fossil fuels.

Largest ever consultation of EIB lending focus

The draft policy, published in July, was produced following the most comprehensive public consultation ever held by the EIB, with intensive stakeholder engagement since the start of the year.

The public consultation solicited views and input from the public on how the EIB can best support EU energy policy and long-term climate and energy targets. More than 149 written contributions to the consultation process were received from organisations and individuals, alongside petitions signed by over 30,000 people.

New Energy Lending Policy to strengthen 2013 carbon emission thresholds

In July 2013 the European Investment Bank was the first international financial institution to adopt clear guidelines on energy lending. The Emission Performance Standard, adopted seven years ago, restricted financing for fossil fuel energy generation projects. It reinforced support for investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy grids and related research and innovation.

The EIB Emissions Performance Standard has since been applied to all fossil fuel generation projects to screen out investments whose carbon emissions exceed a threshold reflecting existing EU and national commitments to limit carbon emissions.