European Investment Bank

From Global Energy Monitor

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the ‘Bank of the European Union,’ whose "mission is to make a difference to the future of Europe and its partners by supporting sound investments which further EU policy goals.Its operating strategy is to "finance viable capital projects which further EU objectives" and "borrow on the capital markets to finance these projects."[1]

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which was established in 1991 following the collapse of Russia, is owned by 61 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank.[2] The EBRD invests in "29 countries from central Europe to central Asia to support the development of market economies and democracies."[3]

Energy financing

The 2011 Bankwatch report, "Carbon rising: European Investment Bank energy lending 2007-2010", found that EIB almost doubled the funds given to fossil fuel projects between 2007 and 2010 - going against its responsibility to further the goals of the European Union, including cutting carbon emissions by at least 20% by 2020.

The Bankwatch report shows EIB fossil fuel lending rose from €2.8bn in 2007 to €5.0bn, while renewable energy loans rose from €1.7bn to €5.8bn. Funding for power transmission infrastructure rose over fourfold over the period, from €1.1bn to €4.6bn. Loans for nuclear power fell from €200m to zero in 2010. Bankwatch also criticised the EIB for allotting less than 5% of the €49bn over the four years to energy efficiency projects: fossil fuels got seven times more.

Coal plants funded

Between 2007 and 2012, Bankwatch said EIB provided €1.88 billion for large coal-fired power plants, including:[4]

€397 million for an advanced coal plant in Du-Walsum in Germany in 2007;
€80 million for PPC Environment in Greece in 2007;
€90 million for Enel Energia Rinnovabile & Ambiente in Italy in 2007;
€440 million for the TEŠ 6 coal plant in Šoštanj in 2007 and 2010;
€500 million for the Karlsruhe power plant in Germany in 2008;
€100 million for the Fortum CHP And E-Metering plant in Poland;
€65 million for the SE Power Plant And Forest Industry in Poland in 2010;
€68 million for the South Poland CHP plant in Poland in 2011;
€32 million for the Paroseni Power Station in Romania in 2011.


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), part owned by the EIB, has also significantly increased its loans to fossil fuels between 2006 and 2010. Gas loans rose 10-fold to €929m between 2006 and 2009, before falling back to €435m. Lending for renewables rose from just €5.5m in 2006 to €232m in 2010, but over the five year period, fossil fuels got 35% of the €7.7bn total while renewables got 6%. The biggest sector was energy efficiency, which was awarded 43% of the funds. The EBRD was is the biggest investor in its area of operation, eastern Europe, the Balkans and central Asia. It was established to support "the development of market economies" following the widespread collapse of communist regimes. It is owned by 61 countries, the EU and the EIB.


  1. "EIB Operational Plan 2010–2012"
  2. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, "How we are funded", European Bank for Reconstruction and Development website, accessed July 2011.
  3. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, "About the EBRD: factsheet", European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, April 1, 2010.
  4. "​​EIB ‘haunted’ by decision to fund Slovenian coal plant," EurActiv, March 4, 2013.

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