The European Investment Bank has agreed to phase out its multibillion-euro financing for fossil fuels within the next two years to become the world’s first ‘“climate bank”. The bank will end its financing of oil, gas, and coal projects after 2021, a policy that will make the EU’s lending arm the first multilateral lender to rule out financing for projects that contribute to the climate crisis. The decision to stem the flow of capital into fossil fuel projects has been welcomed by green groups as an important step towards the EU’s aim to be carbon-neutral by 2050. The EIB, the world’s largest multilateral financial institution, described its decision as a “quantum leap” in ambition. “Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time,” said the bank’s president, Werner Hoyer. “We will stop financing fossil fuels and launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere.” The bank’s vice-president, Andrew McDowell, said the move was “an important first step – not the last step, but probably one of the most difficult.” Under its new policy, the bank will end all lending to fossil fuels within two years and align all funding decisions with […]

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