Dear EIB Secretariat General, Board of Directors, and President Werner Hoyer:
Thank you for your leadership last November in implementing an energy lending policy that rules out almost all fossil fuel finance and sets a new global standard. As we face the still-unfolding COVID-19 crisis, we need you to lead by setting out a Climate Bank Roadmap that puts us on the path to a just recovery from this pandemic by building a resilient, equitable, and zero-carbon future.
I am writing to add my voice to the Climate Bank Roadmap consultations. There are three critical areas where we need you to lead:
1) Close the remaining fossil finance loopholes. First, the EIB should ensure it does not continue to finance gas by committing to not approving more gas projects before the fossil fuels ban enters into force at the end of 2021 and extending the ban to include LNG terminals and other infrastructure for gas transport. Second, the EIB needs to ensure it is not indirectly supporting fossil fuel investments through its clients and financial intermediaries by screening partners for oil, gas, and coal exposure and robust decarbonization plans inline with a 1.5°C Paris-aligned trajectory.
2) Use COVID-19 stimulus to chart a path to a globally just, resilient, and zero-carbon economy. The EIB must ensure its contributions to any COVID-19 stimulus packages bail out workers and communities – not banks and corporations – by limiting shareholder dividends and stock buybacks until funds are paid back in full. This must include investing in green low-carbon infrastructure and growing the low carbon industries that will continue to create jobs for decades to come. Outside of the EU, the EIB can help set a precedent for a globally just outcome by prioritizing (a) debt cancellation and debt-free finance to lower-income countries and communities, (b) just transition support for fossil fuel dependent workers and communities in low income countries, and (c) distributed renewable electricity for communities without energy access.
3) Ensure robust just transition funding and planning for oil, gas, and coal dependent workers and communities. The COVID-19 crisis and oil price crash make it clearer than ever that we need to listen to science and fast-track a managed phase-out of not just coal, but also oil and gas. This can’t happen without making sure workers and communities dependent on these sectors have access to income support, retraining and transfer support, and regional low-carbon economic development plans — as well as a say in how these programs are designed.