[PRESS RELEASE] EIB’s plans to become ‘EU Climate Bank’ too weak according to NGOs

Today, 34 NGOs sent an open letter to Werner Hoyer, the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), urging him to deliver on the EIB climate commitments.

The EIB is currently developing its Climate Bank Roadmap in order to align all its operations with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This process is set to be completed by the end of 2020 as the bank wants to step up its climate ambitions and its sustainable lending, in order to truly transform itself in the ‘EU Climate Bank’.

However, according to the NGOs, the draft paper published by the Bank on the 15th of June falls short of providing a clear strategy for aligning its operations with a 1.5°C global warming scenario. Many crucial points are missing. In particular, there are no new restrictions on high-carbon activities, especially in the transport sector. As it stands, the EIB could continue financing new motorways and new airports.

Furthermore, at a time where public money is being used to rescue companies in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, the paper does not specify any strong social or environmental requirements for the future EIB’s clients. Without clear binding conditions, the EIB cannot guarantee that its support will not end up being invested in highly-polluting companies. 

The joint letter therefore calls on the Bank to take urgent steps for a more ambitious strategy, starting from an immediate and explicit ban on capacity increase for motorways or airports.

“The fact that the bank doesn’t envisage clear restrictions on highly polluting sectors is deeply concerning. The EIB cannot be considered as a climate bank if it continues to support the expansion of motorways and airports. Without immediate measures taken, the ‘EU Climate Bank’ slogan will only be self-proclaimed and will lack any endorsements by citizens and civil society”, says Xavier Sol, Director at Counter Balance.

In addition, NGOs urge the EIB to stop any support for unsustainable companies that do not rapidly adopt science-based targets and credible decarbonisation plans aligned with the 1,5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

“The current draft of the Roadmap shows an EIB that is wilfully too vague and does not seem to show any real grit in achieving its climate goals. It is baffling that a bank that wants to call itself the ‘EU Climate Bank’ sees no issue with continuing to provide blank cheques to polluting companies. This is completely the opposite of what it means to become ‘Paris aligned’”, continues Xavier Sol.

“This is a key moment for the EIB to show its leadership in the fight against climate change. But for the EIB to actually become the ‘EU Climate Bank’ we need to see clear and credible actions. We urge the EIB President to take a strong position so that the EIB effectively delivers on its climate commitments and contributes to a green and fair economic recovery. The planet cannot wait. Citizens cannot wait”.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

Xavier Sol
Director, Counter Balance
Xavier.Sol@counter-balance.org
0032 (0)2 893 08 61

Jan Callewaert
Media & Communications Officer, Counter Balance
Jan.Callewaert@counter-balance.org
0032 484 26 35 31

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