LUXEMBOURG, 07-Sep-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB) attaches great importance to engaging with civil society and ensuring that policies and lending activity reflect the recognition of the importance of climate action, that the EIB shares with a broad range of stakeholders.
The EIB notes the publication of the “Connecting the dots” report by the Climate Action Network (CAN) and regrets that no effort was made by CAN to discuss the report with the EIB before publication.
In support of the Paris Agreement, the EIB has committed to provide USD 100 billion of new financing for climate action projects over the five years and stands ready to discuss a number of inaccuracies and misleading statements in the report. These fundamentally fail to reflect the EIB’s commitment and concerted contribution to support climate action, including that:
- climate action continues to be an overriding goal for the EIB and that climate considerations are integrated throughout the Bank’s activities.
- the EIB lent EUR 3.4 billion for renewable energy investment in 2015, around 50% higher than reflected in the report.
- EIB lending to energy efficiency between 2013 and 2015 is suggested to be close to zero in the report, when it actually increased 42% from EUR 2.1 billion to EUR 3.6 billion over this period.
- the relative carbon footprint of the Spanish project highlighted will enable an estimated net reduction of 600,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
- EIB energy lending has to comply with strict emission performance criteria that effectively prevent lending to finance unabated coal or lignite power stations.
- EIB financing backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) guarantee is supporting significant new investment in renewable energy and improving energy efficiency in homes and industry.
The EIB fully supports the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy and welcomes the Paris Agreement and its goal to hold global warming well below 2°C.
This commitment was strengthened by the adoption of the EIB’s Climate Lending Strategy a year ago. This was approved by the EIB’s shareholders, the 28 EU member states, following input from more than 80 civil society groups and specialist stakeholders.
As one of the largest providers of climate finance worldwide, the EIB has agreed to commit at least 25% of our lending portfolio to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth, and EIB climate financing has exceeded 25% of overall activity every year for the last four years. The EIB continually works with project promoters, other international financial institutions and other banks to enhance the impact of climate-related projects.
2015 was also a record year for energy efficiency lending by the EIB, with EUR 3.6 billion provided for schemes to reduce heating bills and energy use in schools, hospitals, companies and social housing across Europe and beyond. EIB lending for energy efficiency has more than tripled in the last four years with new lending initiatives with partner banks launched last year.
EIB financed climate projects across all 28 EU member states, as well as projects outside Europe in Nicaragua, Egypt, Jordan, Kosovo, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh and Nepal. Last year’s EIB lending for climate-related investment outside Europe represented 31% of overall lending, which is in line with EIB’s recently announced commitment to raise the share of climate financing outside the EU in developing and emerging economies to 35% by 2020.
Furthermore, the self-financing EIB is the world’s largest issuer of green bonds: last year the EIB issued EUR 4 billion of new climate awareness bonds. Issues of the EIB’s climate awareness bonds have enabled more than EUR 14 billion to be provided by capital market investors around the world to fund the EIB’s climate-related investment.
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SOURCE: European Investment Bank