An initial text agreed by EU member states calls on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to stop funding fossil fuel initiatives, in what would be a breakthrough in the bloc’s climate policy and a blow to the coal, gas, and oil industries.
The document was signed on Tuesday by mid-ranking representatives of the EU’s 28 nationwide governments, however, it still wants the go-ahead from more senior diplomats.
The text for the first time calls on the EIB, a multilateral development bank (MDB) and the bloc’s top lender, to carry to an end its multi-billion-euro funding of fossil fuel initiatives in a bid to cut back carbon emissions.
The EU “encourages the MDBs to follow responsible funding policies and to part out financing of fossil fuel projects, specifically, these using stable fossil fuels, taking into consideration the sustainable development and energy needs of accomplice nations,” the document stated.
EIB figures show the bank funded nearly 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of fossil fuel tasks in 2018 and 13.4 billion euro worth since 2013.
The text will likely be discussed at a meeting of the EU’s top diplomats later on Wednesday. Two EU officers said agreements were nonetheless under method, and the text may very well be modified and softened.
EU nations have long been divided over this matter. Some support the shift while others, like Germany, Italy, Poland, and Latvia, want the EIB to keep funding some types of gas initiatives to assist them in moving away from coal or nuclear energy, or for power security reasons.