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The European Investment Bank (EIB) in what some called a “game-changer” announced at the end of last week that it will phase out funding for fossil fuel projects by the end of 2021, dealing a major blow to oil and gas companies. Instead, according to The Wall Street Journal, the bank will “use €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) for climate-change action and environmentally sustainable investment by 2030 and help the EU reach 32% renewable energy across the bloc by 2030.”
At the same time, the Bank announced it will invest €1.5 billion to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the world, “including 15 solar plants in Spain, new wind farms in Austria and Lebanon, and projects in France, Kazakhstan, the South Caucasus region, Latin America and Africa.”
“We will stop financing fossil fuels and we will launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer in prepared remarks.
According to The Guardian, environmental groups were pleased even though the EIB’s announcement comes a year later than hoped by climate campaigners. Experts expect the decision to be especially difficult for the natural gas industry because they had more than $200bn in liquefied natural gas projects planned over the next five years. Other fossil fuel companies will also feel the loss — it is estimated that the EIB loaned €6.2m every day to fossil fuel companies between 2013 and 2018.
As one campaigner put it, “When the world’s biggest public lender decides to largely ditch fossil fuels, financial markets across the globe will take notice: this is the beginning of the end of climate-wrecking fossil fuel finance.”
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer China is often criticized for funding fossil fuel power infrastructure beyond its borders, and rightly so: it’s the top financier of overseas power plants, especially coal-fired ones. But they’re not the only ones continuing to finance coal and gas projects overseas. The US and Japan are a close second […]
This past May, President Biden signed an executive order on climate-related financial risk, a cross-governmental plan that directs federal agencies to identify and mitigate financial risks presented by climate change to Americans, businesses, and the government itself. Progress on this order was made over the weekend when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that the Financial Stability […]
Why This Matters: Money talks. Investors are increasingly willing to walk away from deals like oil and gas drilling projects in the Arctic or investments in fossil fuel companies that refuse to change their business models.
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