24 February 2011: European Investment Bank increases lending to climate projects

The European Investment Bank (EIB) increased its lending to projects to help control climate change to €19bn in 2010. This was a 19% increase over the 2009 figure and meant that climate projects accounted for almost a third of total EIB lending. This lending included:

  • More than €6bn towards renewable energy projects.
  • More than €2bn to energy efficiency schemes.
  • €2bn for countries outside the EU for sustainable energy projects.

There was also substantial lending to sustainable transport projects (see businessGreen: European Investment Bank climate spending hits record level).

This is good news, but there is no ‘climate proofing’ of the other two thirds of EIB lending, to ensure that it does not go to projects that will make climate control even more difficult to achieve. A notable and infamous example is that the EIB lent over half a billion Euros to a  project to build new and dirty coal power stations, without CCS, in Slovenia. This would burn lignite – a high-carbon brown coal – and, if built, would be responsible for all the carbon dioxide that Slovenia is supposed to emit between now and 2050 (see Euractiv: EU subsidies fuel controversial fuel controversial coal plant in Slovenia).

So, the EIB still has a long way to go before it can say that its overall lending portfolio is helping to control climate change.

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