As the EU's climate bank, we are 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.
We back projects that protect the environment our children will live in while we innovate to make their future more prosperous. In line with our responsible approach to investment, Environmental and Social Issues are reflected in all our projects.
Discover how the EIB steps up its efforts towards the protection, restoration and sustainable use of nature in the EIB Environment Framework.
Our climate and environmental sustainability financing
Our environmental activities include:
Nature and biodiversity are essential for life. Approximately half of the world’s GDP is generated by natural resources. Biodiversity loss and the climate crisis go hand in hand.
We support EU policy for biodiversity preservation by ensuring our projects enhance natural habitats and do not impact biodiversity negatively. We work together with policymakers, companies and civil society to meet biodiversity challenges and increase investment in nature, ecosystem restoration and resilience.
The EIB invests in nature in several ways:
- we finance projects and support new financial players in the fields of climate and nature;
- we provide loans to other financial institutions, who act as intermediaries for smaller projects and companies;
- we invest in funds that leverage private investor interest in support of nature.
Forestry, agriculture and urban nature
Forests are essential in the fight for climate action. They are major carbon stores and help increase resilience against 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. We aim to protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services, while fostering rural economic growth and employment.
Agriculture protects natural assets and uses them for our well-being. It is also the backbone for local entrepreneurship, employment and social development in many countries around the world. The EIB supports the rural economy to benefit entrepreneurs and society as a whole, promote environmental sustainability and lower agriculture’s CO2 emissions.
Greening a city has many positive effects: it reduces the risk of floods, tackles the negative effects of heat waves and improves local air and water quality. It also enhances the permeability of soils and limits encroachment on fertile land. Urban nature-based solutions can also strengthen social cohesion and increase the quality of life. Our support for urban regeneration and nature-based solutions in cities is improving living conditions for millions of citizens worldwide.
Oceans and seas cover over 70% of the Earth's surface. They play a vital role for the planet’s climate and biodiversity. They also provide food, medicines, renewable energy and natural resources to billions of people around the globe. Since the 1970s, oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Keeping our oceans healthy is crucial for sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. The EIB is investing in the sustainable blue economy and supports initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve this natural resource.
Find out more on the Sustainable Oceans and Blue Economy
Pollution prevention and control are key pillars of EU environmental policy. 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 depollution projects.
We 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.
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 Facility, Horizon 2020 and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.
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.
We invest in sustainable public transport solutions. We support sustainable shipping, road, air safety and other transport projects, with the goal to:
- facilitate growth and job creation
- cut greenhouse gas emissions
- reduce noise pollution
- improve air quality
- promote safety
Energy systems must transform to meet long-term climate targets. We finance projects that:
- Unlock energy efficiency: We support projects that include retrofitting and expansion of existing social and urban infrastructure and services.
- Support the decarbonisation of energy supply: We finance 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 the enabling infrastructure.
We also provide:
- Sustainable energy project advice: Many cities and regions lack the necessary technical expertise and organisational capacity to implement large energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. ELENA (“European Local ENergy Assistance”) is there to help. It covers up to 90% of the technical support cost of preparing the implementation and securing the financing of the investment programme. Run by the EIB, ELENA is funded by the European Commission.
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 on natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. 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.
Our Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework
The EIB Group has a revised Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework (ESSF), applicable to all new operations.
The ESSF uses a risk-based approach to support the integration of environmental, climate and social considerations into the project cycle. It will ensure the fulfilment of our Paris alignment commitments, while ensuring a just and fair transition for economies that are:
- climate and disaster-resilient
- environmentally sustainable
Managing our environment
As Europe’s climate bank, we continuously evaluate, report, and improve our environmental performance.
We have been measuring and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions since 2007. We sort waste, recycle and reduce plastic usage, among other activities.
Read our EIB Group Environmental Statement 2023.
The EIB is the EU’s climate bank and one of the world’s main financiers of climate action
Our lending is aligned with the Paris Agreement and promotes adaptation, mitigation and environmental sustainability
Find out how the roadmap provides a framework to counter climate change and protect the environment during the critical decade ahead
We work with many parts of the public and private sectors to increase investment in projects that help the climate and environment
Stay up to date
- MDB Common Principles for tracking nature-positive finance
- 2022 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks' Climate Finance
- Joint MDB Methodological Principles for Assessment of Paris Agreement Alignment of New operations
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2021
- MDB Principles for Long-Term Strategy (LTS) Support
- MDB Just Transition High-Level Principles
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2020
- Joint MDB Statement in the margins of the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2018
- Joint Declaration by the Multilateral Development Banks at Katowice, COP24
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2017
- Integrating Climate Change Information and Adaptation in Project Development (EUFIWACC)
- Intégration d’informations sur le changement climatique et de l’adaptation dans le développement de projets (EUFIWACC)
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2016
- Joint Statement by the Multilateral Development Banks at Paris, COP21
- Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking
- Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking
- Tracking Climate Co-Finance: Approach Proposed by MDBs
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2015
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2014
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2013
- Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2012
- Joint MDB Report on Adaptation Finance 2011
- Joint MDB Report on Mitigation Finance 2011