WASHINGTON (November 14, 2019)—Today, the European Investment Bank announced it will “end financing for fossil fuel energy projects from the end of 2021,” setting an important precedent for a financial sector increasingly concerned with climate risks. The EIB is one of the world’s most important multilateral development banks, providing about €16 billion ($17 billion) in energy finance per year.

Following is a statement by Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Director, Sustainable Finance Center at World Resources Institute:

“This breakthrough decision signals that it’s time for financial institutions to cease investing in activities that drive the climate crisis.

“To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to rapidly shift finance flows from fossil fuels to green investments and decarbonize our economies by 2050. The decision today by the European Investment Bank to stop all unabated fossil fuel financing in 2021 sets a key precedent for other development banks to follow.

“While the EIB could have agreed to phase out fossil fuel financing earlier, this is an important step for the financial sector broadly. We strongly encourage the boards of the other multilateral development banks to match or exceed this level of ambition and leadership.”

For more information on the role of multilateral development banks in shifting finance flows, see WRI’s publication Towards Paris Alignment and its associated blog, “4 Ways Development Banks Can Better Support the Paris Agreement.”

For information on steps different multilateral development banks have taken towards this alignment, see our blog, “Multilateral Development Bank Climate Finance in 2018: The Good, the Bad and the Urgent.”