Since the start of a massive divestment movement several years ago, billions of dollars have been pulled out from fossil fuel funding. From non-profits to churches and universities, the list of organizations that have turned away from the industry continues to grow.
This week, it was announced that the European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to stop investing its capital into oil, coal, and gas projects. This plan will be effective immediately, as they plan to put a stop to all funding by the year 2021.
A Step Toward a Carbon-Neutral Continent
At the end of 2018, the European Union announced its plan to become fully carbon-neutral by the year 2050. The efforts of the EIB were also urged by European citizens, who have been pushing toward climate change for years.
While the presentation of the bank’s plan to divest in non-renewable energy was somewhat delayed, they have taken one big step toward the Union’s goal to get rid of carbon emissions for good.
The Future Of The European Investment Bank
The EIB was previously responsible for pumping billions of European dollars through the fossil fuel industry each year. The significant space these projects have taken up in the bank’s investment to this point has invited questions about what their next move will be.
The bank clarified that funds will continue to be invested in energy projects that fall under a certain set of criteria. These limitations are defined by the Energy Lending Policy that was signed before this announcement.
To qualify for investment from the EIB, all energy projects must prove to be as non-damaging to the environment as possible. More specifically, these projects are not allowed to let out CO2 emissions that exceed 250 grams during the production of each kilowatt-hour of energy.
The Start Of a Change In The Industry
Along with many other large organizations, the EIB is becoming more conscious of the environment, and cannot justify putting more of its money through fossil fuel companies any longer. The primary goal of this action is to limit the harmful emissions that come with non-renewable energy. Calling themselves the first “climate bank”, they are making waves that could potentially change the face of the fossil fuel industry.
The damage that comes with carbon emissions has long been recognized by environmental agencies. However, they have faced challenges passing many new regulations as a result of lobbying. The approval of the Energy Lending Policy and divestment from one of the largest financial institutions in the world has been a major milestone achievement for policymakers and citizens.
With billions of dollars ripped out from underneath oil, gas, and coal companies worldwide and plenty more organizations planning to follow suit, there is no telling what is in store for the fossil fuel industry in the coming years.