Invest in a fossil-free Europe
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and realize a transition towards clean energy, it will be key to accelerate the use of renewables, as well as to decrease energy consumption – as the European Environment Agency concluded.
Between 2013 and 2017, the EIB has invested approximately € 18.4 billion in renewables for electricity and heat generation capacity, but if it really wants to contribute to the new target of 34 per cent of renewables in the EU’s power mix by 2030, it needs to do much more.
Renewable energy support for those who need it the most
But it’s not just the quantity that matters. In order to build an energy model that is sustainable and accessible for all, the type of renewables projects financed by the bank and their geographic spread are also very important.
For example, the recent geographic distribution of the EIB loans to renewables projects has been highly unequal, with an important gap in Central and Eastern Europe countries – where the support to a clean energy transition is needed the most.
Source: Bankwatch’s analysis “Energy Doublethink”
We think that the bank should then tailor its approach to the specific needs of each country, boosting its financial assistance to small-scale and people-owned and controlled decentralised renewable energy projects with a strong sustainability objective.
Energy efficiency, for all
Another key effort to reduce greenhouse gas emission, while creating a more competitive and inclusive energy system, is to improve its efficiency.
The EIB has a big role to play to help stimulate energy efficiency investments by smaller companies, municipalities, regions and individuals.
The EU needs it: to achieve the EU’s 2030 clean energy targets, there is still a gap of €130 billion each year to be invested in energy efficiency in buildings. Such investments would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also improve the quality of buildings, reduce energy bills, improve health and wellbeing and lead to an increase in local jobs.
That’s why the future EIB energy policy should fully embrace the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle by considering the potential for energy efficiency solutions in all decision-making related to energy. Energy efficiency should guide all the future investment choices of the bank.