EU urges EIB to halt funding of fossil fuels projects

EU

Photo by nitpicker/Shutterstock.com

The European Union’s finance ministers on Friday urged the bloc’s European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as other international lending institutions, to halt their funding for oil, gas and coal projects in a push to combat climate change, Deutsche Welle reports.

The European Investment Bank building in Luxembourg. Photo by nitpicker/Shutterstock.com

The announcement came in a joint statement on Friday and is the first time finance ministers have taken such a stand.

To follow the directive, the 28-member EIB board would have to issue a formal decision. But the board had already considered voting on a phaseout of fossil fuel funding last month. The vote, however, was postponed after divisions emerged within the bloc, with countries such as Germany, Italy and Poland rejecting it.

The EU has provided roughly EUR 13.4 billion in fossil fuel financing since 2013. Confidential documents seen by international news wire Reuters indicate that some exceptions might take place.

Gas projects in Croatia, Ukraine and other EU partner states could still receive funding, after Hungary pushed to obtain a waiver, raising concern that a ban on energy funding could push those countries to rely more on Russia.

The EIB board is set to hold a meeting on Thursday (November 14), where a discussion on its fossil fuel investment will take place, EU officials have said, Deutsche Welle notes.

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