© Shutterstock
  • The EIB’s new Transport Lending Policy comes after a public consultation involving over 3 500 individuals and organisations.
  • The new policy sets out the EIB’s priorities for supporting the transport sector, in line with the EIB Group Climate Bank Roadmap.
  • Priorities include more investment in public transport; shared and active transport; clean vehicles; alternative fuel infrastructure; intelligent transport systems; inter and multimodal transport; safe system approach to road safety; resilience of transport infrastructure; completion of networks in all transport sectors, with a focus on safety, accessibility, greenness and efficiency, including through digitalisation.

Following a decision of its Board of Directors, made up of representatives of the 27 EU Member States, the European Investment Bank has revised its Transport Lending Policy, which it is releasing today, and will be available at this page following the BoD decision.

The new Transport Lending Policy is aligned with the EIB Group’s Climate Bank Roadmap framework, and is incorporated in the document “The Way Forward: investing in a cleaner and smarter transport system”.[1]

The Transport Lending Policy outlines the EIB’s investment priorities in supporting the rollout of new innovative technologies, as well as mature Paris-aligned projects that matter most to enable the transition of the transport sector to decarbonisation and depollution, safety and security, accessibility, greenness and efficiency (SAGE).

In line with EU objectives and our Climate Bank Roadmap, the aim of the policy is to support the transition to a net-zero future, moving away from fossil fuels to more sustainable solutions.

Eligibility for EIB support for transport-related projects will continue to be determined by the guiding principles set down in EIB Group’s Climate Bank Roadmap. The roadmap is intended to reinforce the Bank’s contribution to its areas of activity and its impact in tackling climate change and environmental concerns, setting specific Paris-aligned investment criteria.

The updated policy reflects the contributions of the public consultation — in line with the EIB Group Transparency Policy — held between July 26 and October 29 2021. The consultation involved more than 3 500 individuals and organisations including civil society groups, transport campaigners and representatives of the transport industry. Efficient transport and mobility are essential to guarantee and safeguard the free movement of people and goods. The new EIB policy commits the EIB to prioritising a safe and secure, accessible, green and efficient way of meeting growing transport demand in Europe and beyond.

European Investment Bank Vice-President Kris Peeters said: “Transport is today both a problem and a solution for society. It is the only major sector where greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, yet it is also critical for trade, employment and development as well as a key feature of modern life. It allows people and goods to travel fast and everywhere and brings prosperity to nations around the globe. However, it is high time to make transport and mobility truly sustainable. The new EIB Transport Lending Policy takes a comprehensive view to making transport safe, accessible to all, green and efficient. Better transport is not in contradiction with a better climate. By aligning our support for transport and mobility projects with our Climate Bank Roadmap, we help transform our unsustainable transport systems into sustainable ones. The EIB is continuing to redirect its financing efficiently to respond to the climate and environmental emergency that confronts us all.”

Key features of the new EIB Transport Lending Policy:

  • The challenges facing the transport sector concern decarbonisation, measures that do no significant harm to the environment, road safety and transport security, enabling development; equal accessibility, sustainability of cities, resilience of transport infrastructure to climate change and efficient use of resources. The completion of the Trans-European Networks for Transport (TEN-T) connectivity is also a major challenge, as it plays an important role in the cohesion of the European Union and the development of the single market. Digitalisation and automation are increasingly being rolled out in the transport sector, but data privacy and cybersecurity need to be ensured to protect digital transport infrastructure. Finally, the financing of transport infrastructure represents a huge challenge, with an estimated €100 billion a year needed for investment in green transport infrastructure.
  • The policy identifies the investments best suited to address these challenges, with the main priorities in the individual transport sub-sectors as follows:

Urban mobility. The EIB will prioritise public transport as it is key to making urban mobility safe, affordable, green and efficient. To complement public transport, the Bank will also prioritise active and shared mobility schemes, like walking and cycling. Support for safe systems, clean vehicles, such as e-buses, taxis, automated shuttles and vehicle automation, are also among the EIB’s priorities in urban mobility. The EIB will further invest in digitalisation, as it can lead to a more efficient management and use of transport assets, in particular in congested areas.

Extra urban rail. The EIB will prioritise support for electrified rail infrastructure as well as electrified and other clean rolling stock. Infrastructure investments in digitalisation and automation will also be a priority, as a means of optimising the use of rail resources and improving safety and interoperability between the different modes in the transport system. The EIB will also develop innovative financing facilities enabling modernisation, retrofitting, digitalisation and automation of railway rolling stock, train and locomotive fleets.

Extra urban roads. As expressed in the Climate Bank Roadmap, the EIB support for roads is subject to a more stringent economic test, compatible with a shadow cost of carbon in line with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. The EIB will consider investments in strategic networks — notably TEN-T — and prioritise road safety, deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure, net-zero vehicles, investments in intelligent transport systems and digital solutions, as well as road infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrade.

Intelligent transport systems and digital solutions. The EIB will prioritise investments in digital solutions to target the optimal and safer use of the existing infrastructure. Traffic management and passenger information systems, automation, security and surveillance, on-demand public transport services and integrated ticketing will be a priority.

Inland waterways. The EIB’s priorities in supporting inland waterway transport include infrastructure upgrade and rehabilitation, digitalisation of waterways and vessels, as well as renewal and cleaning of existing fleets.

Maritime transport. The EIB will prioritise support for the development of strategic port infrastructure, as well as the digitalisation and decarbonisation of ports. As regards maritime vessels, the EIB will prioritise the development and deployment of zero direct CO2 emission ships via pilot and demonstration projects.

Air transport. As laid out in the Climate Bank Roadmap, the EIB will not support investment to increase airport capacity or conventionally fuelled aircraft. The Bank will prioritise investments in the decarbonisation and operational resilience investments in TEN-T airports, the development and the rollout of net-zero aircraft via pilot and demonstration projects, and investments to increase the digitalisation of the sector.

The new policy will take immediate effect and run up to 2027. It will be subject to a mid-term review in 2025.

Find out more about our contribution to the transport sector here: Transport (eib.org)