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EIB as EU 'climate bank' must require polluters to change

10 November 2020
by WWF -- last modified 10 November 2020

EU Member States are set to discuss the European Investment Bank's plan to become the EU’s 'climate bank' tomorrow. The draft roadmap, while containing some positive elements like a ban on lending for airport expansion, is far from enough in WWF's view.


Alarmingly, it does not exclude motorway expansion projects, even for countries where road infrastructure is very well developed. Moreover, it makes no clear decarbonisation requirements of its clients, which include high-carbon companies. This means the EIB could continue lending to fossil fuel-heavies like Polish coal utility PGE, which are completely misaligned with the Paris Agreement.

Member States, who are the EIB's board members, must exclude all support for harmful transport infrastructure tomorrow. They must also require ambitious and credible climate commitments in line with a 1.5°C temperature limit from the high-carbon firms the EIB supports. They must maintain the draft plan's commitment to end lending to airports and the stated intention to use the EU's upcoming sustainable investment criteria, the 'taxonomy', to determine which sectors 'do no significant harm'.

Sébastien Godinot, WWF European Policy Office economist said:

"This incomplete roadmap will only take the EIB halfway to its destination. While excluding airport expansion is crucial, to become a 'climate bank' worthy of the name the EIB must also veto support for new motorways and require high-carbon companies it supports to credibly transition towards zero carbon."

Following the EIB board meeting, the roadmap will be finalised and published by end 2020.

The European Policy Office helps shape EU policies that impact on the European and global environment.