EIB: Motorways and airports put EU climate bank plans in jeopardy

Posted on June, 15 2020

Polluting transport infrastructure could get support until 2025 and beyond.
The European Investment Bank is making a mockery of the EU’s Green Deal and climate neutrality goal by preparing to lend to new motorways and potentially new airports. A draft paper shared today by the Bank - which is owned by the Member States - would see polluting transport infrastructure eligible for support at least until 2025 and possibly beyond. 
The contents of the ‘EIB Group Climate Bank Roadmap’ position paper are in direct contradiction with its title, and the EIB’s publicly stated intention to become the EU’s ‘climate bank’. 
Sébastien Godinot, WWF EU economist said:
"You cannot be the ‘EU climate bank’ if you are doling money out to infrastructure that destroys the climate. And the EU cannot say it wants to get green when it is funding ‘brown’ activities. The EIB is at a crossroads: it must kick out new motorways and airports  immediately to show that it can credibly become the EU climate bank.”

The draft ‘EIB Group Climate Bank Roadmap’ was published ahead of a 25 June EIB webinar to be held with civil society on the ongoing Climate Strategy review. The draft will go to the EIB board - composed of the 27 EU finance ministers - shortly after it, to be approved in the autumn.
The EIB is preparing to extend huge loans to aid the EU’s post-COVID recovery. The Bank  is planning to support EUR1 trillion of sustainable investment before 2030, but these plans risk being derailed if the wrong projects are classified as sustainable. In the last four years alone, the EIB has supported motorways with EUR10.6 billion and airports with 4 billion.
Last November the EIB took a welcome step forward by agreeing to end lending to fossil fuels from 2021.

More information:
A week after this reaction was sent out, WWF and other NGOs sent an open letter to the EIB president to ask for urgent steps to be taken so the EIB can become the EU climate bank.
Sébastien Godinot
Economist, WWF European Policy Office
+32 489 46 13 14

Sarah Azau
Media Manager, WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 57 31 37
Singapore airport
© WWF / Matthew Lee