NGOs Call on European Bank to Phase Out Fossil Fuels

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Written By: Emma Websdale

A coalition of 10 of the largest green NGOs is calling on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to phase out fossil fuels from its lending portfolio to avoid loans to energy sources contributing to climate change.

Ten NGOs including WWF, CAN Europe and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) known as the Green 10, have spoken up against EBRD’s draft energy plan presented this summer, which revealed proposals to continue investing in fossil fuels.  According to the Business Green, the draft also showed the bank was prepared to open up opportunities for the financing of shale gas while also failing to consider restricting its current lending to the nuclear sector.

The Green 10 group says that other institutions including the European Investment Bank have recognized the negative effects of burning fossil fuels on human health, the environment and the climate and aim to tackle these threats by including heavy limitations in its coal lending.

Green 10 have called for the EBRD to act responsibly and contribute to the global action to address climate change and decarbonization by introducing strict emission performance standards for energy related investments and prioritizing investments in renewable energy.

“The fossil fuel industry is responsible for thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands of hospital admissions and millions of lost working days in Europe every year”, said Louise Duprez, senior policy officer for air, industrial emissions and noise at EBB.

“The EBRD stopping its funding for this industry would be a much-needed step towards breaking our addiction to coal – essential to allow Europeans to breathe fresh air and have a healthy environment.”