The EIB must act more courageously to clean up its energy-lending portfolio. Coal investments must be stopped immediately and a plan to phase out all fossil-fuel lending should be prepared and implemented as soon as possible. The capital from fossil-fuel investments could be redirected towards green projects instead.
For regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, where the EIB argues that it is more difficult to find investment opportunities, the bank must develop targeted instruments and technical assistance that supports small-scale renewable-energy projects. It must also encourage governments to build flexible power grids.
Weaning Europe from its addiction to fossil fuels will not be easy, but if the EU’s house bank will not accept the challenge, it is difficult to imagine who will.
Manana Kochladze is a campaigner at CEE Bankwatch Network, a non-governmental organization that monitors international financial institutions active in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the winner of the 2004 Goldman Environmental Prize.
Copyright: Project Syndicate