Many important decisions are still to be taken in 2021, including on the EIB’s approach on clients, the review of its Transport Policy and of its environmental and social standards. These will be key opportunities to continue to influence the EIB so that it further aligns with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The transformation into the “EU Climate Bank” is all the more important considering that the EIB will play a flagship role under the EU economic recovery package following the COVID-19 crisis and its dreadful economic consequences.
Given the long-term perspective of EIB loans and operations, this necessary economic response to the COVID-19 crisis must be complementary to the efforts to steer the European economy into a more sustainable and fairer path.
There is no more time to lose if we want to avoid climate breakdown. According to the most recent UN Emissions Gap report, countries would need to reduce emissions by 7.6% a year to meet the 1.5°C target. Yet, emissions worldwide have been increasing by 1.5% per year in the last decade. It is furthermore clear that developing countries cannot achieve this on their own, they need access to predictable finance that is grounded in impact and effectiveness.
As flagged in an open letter sent by NGOs to the EIB President Werner Hoyer in April 2020, we think that there is no inherent incompatibility between the EIB’s climate commitments and its future role in the European economic recovery. Civil society organisations, think-tanks, academics and policymakers from all around the world have similarly been calling for green recovery plans to deal with the COVID-19’s impacts and simultaneously deliver a more just and sustainable future.