lunes, febrero 6, 2023

E.I.B. favoring investments in renewables over coal

Last week, the World Bank Group announced that it will “only in rare circumstances” provide financial support for new greenfield coal power generation (see related story).

The world’s financial institutions are backing away from fossil-fuel power and throwing their support behind renewable energy generation.

Last week, the World Bank Group announced that it will “only in rare circumstances” provide financial support for new greenfield coal power generation (see related story).

This week, the European Investment Bank announced that it is adopting new guidelines to reinforce their support for investments in renewable energy as well as energy efficiency and energy grids.

To this extent, they are going to be imposing a strict emissions threshold that projects must meet if they are to be eligible for E.I.B. funding. These guidelines are meant to reflect the current energy and climate policy of the European Union.

“Prioritizing lending to energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy networks and energy RDI projects will help E.U. to meet its energy and climate objectives and create local employment across Europe. The new Emissions Performance Standard will ensure that outside these sectors the Bank’s energy lending makes a sustainable and positive contribution to economic growth,” said Mihai Tanasescu, E.I.B.’s vice president responsible for energy lending.

All fossil fuel generation projects presented to the E.I.B. for funding from now on will have to meet its Emissions Performance Standard. The E.P.S. is set at 550 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hours. Any project that exceeds this threshold will be ineligible for E.I.B. funding.

The announcement of a strict emissions standard for power generation projects comes at the heels of a marked decline in E.I.B. investment in fossil fuel generation. Over the last five years, the E.I.B.’s lending to fossil fuel power projects has declined to less than 1.5 percent of overall energy lending.

The announcement was met with cautious optimism by the W.W.F. which urged other financial institutions to follow the lead of both the E.I.B. and World Bank and shape the world’s shift to sustainable energy sources.

“Coal is the dirtiest of fossil fuel power sources – polluting local environments, impacting on people’s health and contributing heavily to climate change. It is now time for all international Financial Institutions and especially the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to follow the E.I.B.’s example, and to clean up their acts too,” said Sebastien Godinot, an economist at W.W.F.’s European Policy Office.

The W.W.F. calls on the E.I.B. to continue to decrease the emissions cap for fossil fuel power plants, lowering the E.P.S. in the coming years. The bank is also urged to set measurable financing targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy support to send a clear and strong signal to investors and the industry.

The E.I.B. is currently one of the world’s largest energy lenders and has provided more than 70 billion euro in long-term energy investment in the last five years. The bank seeks to support investment in sustainable, secure and competitive energy across Europe. – K. Jalbuena – EcoSeed



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