A power station in Poland. The bank has called its decision the ‘most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere’.
Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
The European Investment Bank has agreed to phase out its multibillion-euro financing for fossil fuels within the next two years to become the world’s first “climate bank”.
The bank will end its financing of oil, gas, and coal projects after 2021, a policy that will make the world’s largest multilateral financial institution the first lender to rule out financing for projects that contribute to the climate crisis.
The decision to prioritize renewable and efficient energy follows a policy promise by the incoming European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, to turn the EIB into a “climate bank”, unlocking a potential €1tn in funds to help move Europe’s economy toward cleaner energy.
Environmental campaigners estimate that the EIB handed out €6.2m every day to fossil fuel companies between 2013 and 2018.