EU bank mulls ban on cash for airport expansions

(EurActiv, 5 Nov 2020) The European Investment Bank (EIB) could withdraw support for new airports, according to a draft climate roadmap seen by EURACTIV. However, the bank is set to keep funding motorways, as well as approving investments under the old rules until 2022.

According to the EIB’s leadership and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the bank should become “the EU’s climate bank” and a new strategy seeks to align the lender’s investment planning with the Paris Agreement by the end of 2020.

That process began last year, when the EIB updated its energy lending policy, which sought to scrub the bank’s loan books of fossil fuel projects. Exemptions remain but the review earned plaudits for redirecting money towards renewable energy and other low-carbon projects.

Half of the bank’s lending will be targeted exclusively towards climate projects by 2025 but the other 50% will need to be “Paris-proofed”, according to the EIB. On 11 November, its directors will consider adopting the new climate plan.

A draft version seen by EURACTIV shows that “support will be withdrawn from airport capacity expansion and conventionally‐fuelled aircraft”. That is a key ask of civil society groups, which penned an open letter to the EIB in June with their wishlist of climate measures.

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EurActiv, 5 Nov 2020: EU bank mulls ban on cash for airport expansions