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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.”
Yesterday Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders announced that they plan to introduce the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, legislation that would give a green overhaul to the entirety of the nation’s 1.2 million public housing units.
Senator Bernie Sanders is seeking to re-frame his Presidential campaign in Iowa on the issue of climate change with a huge ad buy there touting his support for the Green New Deal (see below) and a climate summit to be held this weekend with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez attending.
Why This Matters: Climate change has fallen out of the debate since the MSNBC climate forum in mid-September. Sanders has consistently been in the top 3 candidates in Iowa so his focus on the climate issues will ensure that they are discussed again — and that is good news.
Last week, the Republican Members of Congress met at their annual policy conference and emerged from the meeting hoping the Green New Deal (GND) is a major issue in the 2020 election cycle because they think it is a winner for them. According to E&E News, their leadership is convinced that their best strategy for retaking […]