World's largest multilateral lender to abandon fossils by 2020

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

While still needing approval by EU member states, this draft proposal by the European Investment Bank is a major win for activists targeting the EIB on climate for years.

Big news out of Europe last week, with another of the world's major backers of fossil fuels making the commitment to divest from the sector on climate grounds, soon.


The government-backed European Investment Bank (EIB) - the world’s largest multilateral lender - just released a draft policy that would see the bank stop funding fossils by the end of 2020. This means no more funding for oil, gas, and coal, another death knell for the industry.


In response to the draft policy, Alex Doukas, Lead Analyst with Oil Change International, released the following statement:


“The European Investment Bank’s proposal to end financing for fossil fuels by the end of 2020 is a massive step forward on climate leadership. With this move, the world’s largest multilateral lender is now poised to leave oil, gas, and coal in the past.


“The European Union member states who control the bank must now stand behind the EIB’s game-changing climate leadership by swiftly approving this new policy, and other financial institutions should quickly follow suit and stop funding fossils.


“As Europe swelters under a record-breaking heatwave, with all-time high temperatures across Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, the need for bold climate action has never been clearer.


“Tens of thousands of people have signed petitions, written emails to their governments, and taken to the streets to demand a fossil free EIB. This strong draft from the EIB is a reflection of that people power and shows that our institutions can respond to the climate challenge when we bring our collective power to bear.


“We will not stop until our governments do what is required to fight the climate crisis – and that means ending all forms of government support for fossil fuels, and a managed and just transition away from oil, gas, and coal.”


This comes after the 2017 World Bank Group commitment to end financing for upstream oil and gas, and is an even stronger and clearer commitment to end handouts to the fossil fuel industry.



The fight is not over: the EU member state governments which own the EIB must still pass this policy, which will be taken up at their board meeting on September 9th/10th. Climate activists intend to amplify this strong draft policy now and push to make it even stronger, and will not rest until all major backers of fossil fuels - including BlackRock, the world's biggest - stop supporting this industry.


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