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EIB climate action explained


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Aligning all our operations with Paris agreement goals and principles


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Our 2020 impact

 

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The European Investment Bank has put in place a framework to ensure that the projects it supports — whether they be in energy, transport, industry or agricultural sectors — are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. This was the purpose of the Climate Bank Roadmap.

To complete this framework, we need to address the wider activity of clients that goes beyond the project in question. For example, should the Bank support a low-carbon project such as a solar farm with a company that also wants to invest in high-carbon activities such as a coal-fired electricity plant? How can we help clients make the transition to cleaner processes?

This framework is the next step in our journey to make the Paris Agreement a success. The treaty commits all parties that signed it to “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.”

We have introduced a new approach for the alignment of counterparties. This applies to large companies active in high-emitting sectors and large financial institutions. Building on European Union regulations, this requires large companies to disclose their alignment plans, including a mid-term carbon target. Such plans should also address building resilience to future climate change. The EIB will work with clients to develop and publish these plans.

This general approach — based on disclosure — is powerful. But it also needs a bottom line for companies that intend to invest in very high carbon activities incompatible with the Paris Agreement. In general, the EIB will not support projects, including low-carbon ones, with companies that invest in activities such as the building of new coal-fired power plants or coal mines, or the destruction of carbon sinks.

For the oil-production sector, if companies cannot commit to reducing oil production over time, or if they continue to engage in incompatible activities, the Bank will only work with them on highly innovative low-carbon projects, such as carbon capture and sequestration, renewable hydrogen, advanced biofuels or floating offshore wind.

Climate action and environmental sustainability

Climate adaptation

We invest in projects that anticipate the adverse effects of climate change and take appropriate action to prevent or minimise the resulting damage. Early and well-planned adaptation can save lives and money. For example, such investments include projects that:

  • reduce the risk of floods,
  • develop resilient cities,
  • increase afforestation.

The EIB Adaptation Plan supports the objectives of the European Union Adaptation Strategy inside and outside the EU. The EIB pledges to increase the share of adaptation support to 15% of the Bank’s overall finance for climate action by 2025. This represents an almost three-fold increase, compared to adaptation finance over the past five years.

The EIB will screen all projects it finances for the risks of climate change and ensure they are adapted to future changes. A new advisory service called ADAPT will help public and private sector clients understand how climate change affects their operations.

Climate mitigation

We support projects that reduce or prevent the emission of greenhouse gases. For example, this can be done by investing in:

  • research and development of low-carbon technologies,
  • renewable energy,
  • low-carbon transport solutions,
  • industrial de-carbonisation.

Environmental sustainability

We back activities that promote sustainable management of natural resources, biodiversity and the environment.

Find out more  

European Green Deal

Climate change and environmental degradation threaten the entire planet. To tackle these challenges, Europe needs a new growth strategy where:

  • there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050;
  • economic growth is not entirely dependent on resource use;
  • no person and no place is left behind.

The European Green Deal is the roadmap for making the EU economy sustainable and inclusive.

The EIB is an important partner in helping the European Union move from ambition to reality. We will contribute to these goals under InvestEU, including the Just Transition Mechanism.

The EIB's contribution to the European Green Deal Investment Plan is expected to amount to €250 billion in terms of total green investments under EU mandates (through EU instruments and the EU budget).

Implementing our climate ambition in Europe and beyond

It is essential to retrain workers and create new jobs in areas where coal mines and CO₂-intensive activities have historically been a major source of employment and economic activity. Although we expect the green transition to create around 500 000 jobs in Europe by 2050, we are working hard to ensure that our financing contributes to a just transition for those regions or countries most affected, so that no one is left behind in the fight against climate change.

In 2015, the EIB committed to increase its climate lending to 35% of its total investment in developing countries by 2020We exceeded this target in 2019, investing a total of €3 billion, 43% of the total financing to developing countries, including those most exposed to climate-related disasters. The EIB Group applies the same environmental and social standards to evaluate projects inside and outside the European Union.


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Adjusted economic and financial rates of return

When appraising the economic case for a project resulting in a significant change of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) we incorporate an economic cost of carbon.

Carbon footprint exercise

We assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of our investment projects based on sector-specific methodologies. We publish project-level data in our Public Register and aggregated data for each year’s financing in our Sustainability Report.

Phasing out fossil fuel

We are phasing out our support for energy projects that rely on unabated fossil fuels. These projects include the production of oil and natural gas, natural gas infrastructure and power generation technologies resulting in greenhouse gas emissions above 250g CO2 per kWh of electricity generated. Find out how the EIB is supporting the energy transformation in our Energy Lending Policy.

Climate change risk and vulnerability

For projects, sectors and areas particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, we require the promoter to consider climate risks and to incorporate adaptation measures into project design and operation. We are rolling out a climate risk management system as part of our climate strategy implementation.

Climate finance tracking

Transparency and credibility are key in mitigation finance reporting. In 2015, the EIB, other multilateral development banks and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), established a set of common principles, definitions and guidelines for climate mitigation finance tracking.

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Key publications


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Key areas

Overview

The EIB is the EU’s climate bank and one of the world’s main financiers of climate action

Climate Bank Roadmap

Find out how the roadmap provides a framework to counter climate change and protect the environment during the critical decade ahead

Environmental protection

We carefully check that our projects meet our environmental and social principles and standards and conform with our corporate responsibility commitments

Supporting your project

We work with many parts of the public and private sectors to increase investment in projects that help the climate and environment


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  • Last modified-on: 18-10-2021