Irish Green Party MEPs Ciarán Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan this evening welcomed the announcement that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed an ambitious new climate action strategy and energy investment policy. However, they cautioned that since the key elements of the new strategy will not come into effect until 2021, there is a risk that large scale fossil fuel projects will be funded in the interim.
Green MEP for Dublin Ciarán Cuffe said: “There is much to be welcomed in this announcement from the European Investment Bank this evening. This is a really strong statement from a key EU institution and I’m very encouraged to see that the EU Commission and our German colleagues supported the decision.
“The Bank is committing to ending financing of fossil fuel energy projects, including gas, from the end of 2021. Given the urgency of the climate crisis we are facing, given the fact that we know we have barely a decade left to make the radical changes we need to avert climate catastrophe, this delay is disappointing. In the window between now and 2022, there is scope for many large scale fossil fuel projects to be funded, which will continue to cause huge environmental damage and contribute to the very crisis we are trying to avert. Compliance with the Paris Agreement should not have to wait for another year.”
Green MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan said: “I welcome today’s news. It heralds an end to the institutional financing of fossil fuel energy projects. Of course I too would like to see that happen before the targeted date of 2022, but I hope that on the home front it will put a halt to the Shannon LNG project, which has to be seen for what it is – dirty and unsustainable. Investment into clean energy innovation, energy efficiency and renewables on this sort of scale will create real change if it’s done properly.
“This is about a very important acknowledgement that climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time. But it’s more than that. Putting money into action is hugely significant. Today I feel a sense of hope.”
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