Thursday

9th Jul 2020

EU 'climate bank' won't rule out carbon capture

  • EIB president Werner Hoyer (r): 'We are by far the biggest climate change action financier in the world anywhere' (Photo: Council of the European Union)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will not rule out funding carbon capture and storage technologies in its bid to become the world's premiere climate bank.

With plans to invest over a trillion euros in the next 10 years on climate projects, the Luxembourg-based institution says it remains open to any investments where emission standards are met, following the Paris Climate Agreement to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"I would not exclude developments which make all kinds of resource savings and resource use," EIB's president Werner Hoyer told reporters in Luxembourg on Monday (11 November) when asked if those projects could include carbon capture and storage technologies.

The technology is considered controversial by NGOs like Greenpeace who say it perpetuates the business model of an industry that does not want to transition away from fossil fuels.

Sebastian Mang, climate policy adviser for Greenpeace EU, told EUobserver last month that the EU had already "invested millions if not billions into this technology" - without any results.

The NGO along with some 200 other organisations also last month in a letter demanded political institutions champion fossil-free politics.

The broader move by the EIB towards phasing out its funding of gas, oil and coal projects to help combat climate change was supported last Friday by EU finance ministers.

An initial decision to phase out such projects stalled in October due to disagreements over the classification of natural gas. Countries like Germany and Poland pressed for gas funding to continue.

The EIB's board is now due to discuss the issue of gas again on Thursday.

The EIB has pumped €13.4bn into fossil fuel projects since 2013, with the bulk going to gas infrastructure.

Hoyer said the bank's current share of lending to projects that combat climate change is 28 percent. His aim is to increase it to 50 percent by 2025. All other projects will also have to ensure they do not undermine climate goals, he said.

"We have regions in Europe which are dependent on fossil fuels, not only because of energy security and energy supplies, but also because of jobs and this is where we direct our full attention," he said, in a nod to coal-producing Poland.

Gas and oil spent €250m lobbying EU

BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, and their lobby firms have spent over €250m in lobbying the EU to water down climate goals since 2010, a new study shows.

Norway offers EU €140m for carbon capture

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg offered European Union countries some €140 million to support the development of carbon capture and storage projects - an experimental and highly controversial technology that aims to scrub industrial processes of their CO2 emissions.

Why doesn't Greece like carbon capture?

Within the Council of Ministers, Greece is one of the biggest opponents of carbon capture and storage - or CCS, arguing that there are many environmental worries thrown up by the experimental technology intended to scrub coal plants emissions of their carbon and store the CO2 underground forever. The EUobserver recently sat down with Kyriakos Psychas, the Greek mission to the EU's counselor on the environment to understand his country's objections.

Green MEPs unconvinced by Romanian commissioner

The answers of Romanian's new commissioner-designate for transport, Adina-Ioana Vălean, did not manage to convince MEPs from the Greens group, who will ask her additional questions concerning environment and consumer rights.

EU centre-right pledges 'moderate' climate solution

The centre-right European People's Party (EPP) pledge at its Zagreb congress to deliver a middle-ground compromise between "utopian environmental policies" and climate-change denial.

Opinion

EU investment bank 'wide open to abuse by fraudsters'

Fundamental reforms are needed if the EIB is to become more accountable, democratic and transparent. Establishing a firm grasp on corruption to ensure that public money no longer feeds corrupt systems is a vital first step.

News in Brief

  1. France and Germany warn Israel on annexation 'consequences'
  2. Shipping firms to face EU carbon regime
  3. EU to mediate between Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey
  4. EU to unveil arms-trafficking and drug proposals
  5. EU to discuss people-smuggling with African states
  6. 'Torture chamber' found in Dutch sea containers
  7. Commissioner backs under-attack Hungarian news site
  8. New French government tilts to right

Regions urge EU to act on 'green hydrogen'

The EU's regions urged the unlocking of the potential of hydrogen produced from renewable sources, so-called 'green hydrogen', to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

France shuts oldest reactor amid Macron climate pledges

France's oldest nuclear power plant finally closed on Tuesday, one day after president Emmanuel Macron pledged to speed up the country's transition to a greener economy responding to the proposals from the French citizens' convention on climate.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Merkel urges EU unity to hold off economic fallout and populism
  2. The opportunistic peace
  3. EU mulls new system to check illegal pushbacks of migrants
  4. EU forecasts deeper recession, amid recovery funds row
  5. Revealed: fossil-fuel lobbying behind EU hydrogen strategy
  6. Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video
  7. Parliament vaping booths 'too confidential' to discuss
  8. Belarus: Inside Lukashenko’s crackdown on independent voices

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us