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Climate and environmental sustainability


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Taking action to address the climate and environment emergency in the critical decade 2021-2030


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Since 2012, the EIB has provided €197 billion of finance* supporting over €670 billion of investment in projects that protect the environment, reduce emissions and help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

* €171 billion focused on climate action and €26 billion dedicated to environmental protection

Climate Bank Roadmap

In 2019 the EIB Board of Directors approved a new set of ambitious targets for climate action and environmental sustainability. Here are three key elements:

  • The EIB Group will support €1 trillion of investments in climate action and environmental sustainability in the critical decade from 2021 to 2030;
  • The EIB will gradually increase the share of its financing dedicated to climate action and environmental sustainability to reach 50% of its operations in 2025;
  • The EIB Group will align all its financing activities with the principles and goals of the Paris agreement by the end of 2020.

A plan for the future of the planet

The EIB Group Climate Bank Roadmap 2021-2025 will guide our ambition. It is the result of various rounds of engagement with civil society and other stakeholders.

The Roadmap outlines our bold ambitions for climate finance to back the European Green Deal and make Europe carbon-neutral. It maps the next stages in the journey to sustainable investment and provides a framework to counter climate change and protect the environment during the critical decade ahead.

 Download the Climate Bank Roadmap

 Read the blog article about our Climate Bank Roadmap, outlining our bold ambitions for climate finance to back the European Green Deal and make Europe carbon-neutral

 More on the stakeholder engagement

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 2020. We 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.

Sustainable transport, including transport safety

We invest in sustainable public transport solutions. We support sustainable shipping, road, air safety and other transport projects, with the goal to:

  • facilitate growth and job creation
  • cut greenhouse gas emissions
  • reduce noise pollution
  • improve air quality
  • promote safety

Nature and biodiversity

Nature and biodiversity are essential for life. Approximately half of the world’s GDP is generated by natural resources. Biodiversity loss and the climate crisis go hand in hand.

We support EU policy for biodiversity preservation by ensuring our projects enhance natural habitats and do not impact biodiversity negatively. We work together with policymakers, companies and civil society to meet biodiversity challenges and increase investment in nature, ecosystem restoration and resilience.

The EIB invests in nature in several ways:

  • we finance projects and support new financial players in the fields of climate and nature;
  • we provide loans to other financial institutions, who act as intermediaries for smaller projects and companies;
  • we invest in funds that leverage private investor interest in support of nature.

Together with the European Commission, we put in place the Natural Capital Financing Facility, a dedicated instrument to finance biodiversity and nature-based solutions in Europe.

Forestry, agriculture and urban nature

Forests are essential in the fight for climate action. They are major carbon stores and help increase resilience against some of the effects of climate change, such as soil erosion and increased flood risk. Our activities support the full forest value chain, including restoration of forests, afforestation and forest industries. We aim to protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services, while fostering rural economic growth and employment.

Agriculture protects natural assets and uses them for our well-being. It is also the backbone for local entrepreneurship, employment and social development in many countries around the world. The EIB supports the rural economy to benefit entrepreneurs and society as a whole, promote environmental sustainability and lower agriculture’s CO2 emissions.

Greening a city has many positive effects: it reduces the risk of floods, tackles the negative effects of heat waves and improves local air and water quality. It also enhances the permeability of soils and limits encroachment on fertile land. Urban nature-based solutions can also strengthen social cohesion and increase the quality of life. Our support for urban regeneration and nature-based solutions in cities is improving living conditions for millions of citizens worldwide.

Sustainable Oceans and Blue Economy

Oceans and seas cover over 70% of the Earth's surface. They play a vital role for the planet’s climate and biodiversity. They also provide food, medicines, renewable energy and natural resources to billions of people around the globe. Since the 1970s, oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Keeping our oceans healthy is crucial for sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. The EIB is investing in the sustainable blue economy and supports initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve this natural resource.

Find out more on the Sustainable Oceans and Blue Economy

Depollution including noise, clean air, clean water

Pollution prevention and control are key pillars of EU environmental policy. We promote an integrated approach to prevention and control of emissions into air, water and soil for the protection of the environment as a whole, and we finance depollution projects.

We provide project promoters with clear requirements for preventing, reducing and, as far as possible, eliminating pollution arising from different activities during the entire project lifecycle - from design to decommissioning. Our environmental and social handbook provides an outline of EIB’s standards.

Water supply and wastewater

We back a diverse range of projects related to the provision and management of water:

  • Water supply
  • Wastewater treatment and disposal
  • Coastal erosion
  • Flood control

We offer long term financing and technical advice, as well as support for research, development and innovation. Most of our water and wastewater activity is located in the EU, but we also support international initiatives such as the ACP-EU Water FacilityHorizon 2020 and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.

Circular economy and waste management

The EIB supports the transition towards a circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised.

Circular economy projects typically reduce resource consumption and waste generation which results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Disaster risk management, recovery and reconstruction

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, mudslides, avalanches and landslides, put human lives, ecosystems and economies at risk. Investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction is essential to enhance the resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment.

The EIB works on strengthening national and international governance on natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Our climate strategy promotes a risk management approach to increase the resilience of assets, communities and ecosystems related to EIB projects.

We also support post-disaster reconstruction projects, a critical opportunity to build back better - including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures.

Energy

Energy systems must transform to meet long-term climate targets. We finance projects that:

  • Unlock energy efficiency: We support projects that include retrofitting and expansion of existing social and urban infrastructure and services.
  • Support the decarbonisation of energy supply: We finance renewable energy projects in Europe and beyond ─ onshore and offshore wind farms, solar, hydropower, geothermal and solid biomass projects, among others – and the development of the enabling infrastructure.

We also provide:

  • Sustainable energy project advice: Many cities and regions lack the necessary technical expertise and organisational capacity to implement large energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. ELENA (“European Local ENergy Assistance”) is there to help. It covers up to 90% of the technical support cost of preparing the implementation and securing the financing of the investment programme. Run by the EIB, ELENA is funded by the European Commission.

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.

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).


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Together on climate

The EIB ensures together with its partners that climate considerations are mainstreamed into everything it does.

 

Internal carbon footprint

Not only do we measure the carbon footprint of all our investment projects: we are also committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

 

Climate change and academia

The EIB Institute works closely with the academic community to advance research on climate change and sustainability. We have sponsored the creation of two Climate Chair positions with the European University Institute and Sciences Po to promote research in the field.


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  • Last modified-on: 15-01-2021