The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
World's Largest Public Bank Ditches Oil and Coal in Victory for the Climate Movement
By Eoin Higgins
The bank's board made the decision at a meeting on Thursday, CNBC reported.
"Truly amazing win," tweeted environmentalist Bill McKibben.
Truly amazing win. The European Investment Bank--largest public bank in the world--will stop lending for fossil fuel projects.— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) November 14, 2019
Thanks to all who organized so hard for so long! https://t.co/FB2okLY9ay
In a statement following the news, Friends of the Earth Europe fossil free campaigner Colin Roche said the bank's decision was a big one.
"Today's decision is a significant victory for the climate movement," said Roche. "Finally, the world's largest public bank has bowed to public pressure and recognised that funding for all fossil fuels must end—and now all other banks, public and private must follow their lead."
Nonetheless, Roche cautioned against complacency.
"But 2021 is still too late if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate breakdown, the EIB needs to reject any fossil fuel projects and close its loopholes for gas, and not wait till 2021," Roche said.
As Common Dreams reported, a previous commitment from the bank would have ended fossil fuel projects by the end of 2020.
According to Reuters, the new policy does not outright ban all fossil fuel projects, but makes most of them impossible under the new parameters:
Under the new policy, energy projects applying for EIB funding will need to show they can produce one kilowatt hour of energy while emitting less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide, a move which bans traditional gas-burning power plants.
Gas projects are still possible, but would have to be based on what the bank called "new technologies," such as carbon capture and storage, combining heat and power generation or mixing in renewable gases with the fossil natural gas.
"This is an important first step, this is not the last step," EIB vice-president for energy Andrew McDowell told the BBC.
The news was welcomed by climate advocacy group 350 Action. In a statement, the group's Germany campaigner Kate Cahoon called the decision "the beginning of the end of climate-wrecking fossil fuel finance" but warned there was still work to do.
"The gas lobby has unfortunately managed to get Germany and the European Commission to insert some loopholes into the policy, which leave the door open for funding of dangerous fossil gas projects," said Cahoon. "They had better take note of the growing list of pipelines, terminals, and fracking wells that are scrapped thanks to local opposition and the unprecedented masses of people mobilizing for climate justice."
The bank's move was seen by 350's France campaigner Clémence Dubois as an example for other financial institutions across the globe.
"This is a clear signal to financial institutions in Europe and around the world that they must take rapid, transformative action to change their financial models, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and support a just transition to sustainable forms of energy for all," said Dubois.
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
- University of California Will Divest From Fossil Fuels - EcoWatch ›
- Energy Transfer Partners and Banks Lost Billions by Ignoring Early ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.