European Investment Bank pledges to reduce road spending

European Investment Bank pledges to reduce road spending

The European Investment Bank has said it will cut its funding for road infrastructure in line with its climate targets, even as it seeks to increase the amount of finance it provides for transport projects in general.

EIB Vice President Kris Peeters told the Financial Times on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of 20 country officials in Bali on Friday that he was “convinced” the lender would invest less in roads and more in “other elements”. transport infrastructure. The comments come ahead of next week’s release of its transportation lending policy for the next five years to 2027, when Peeters said he expected the bank to increase infrastructure spending.

The EIB is the world’s largest multilateral lender and provides long-term finance for projects that support EU policies. He has been criticized by climate activists and NGOs who say his funding of road and non-fossil fuel projects operated by energy majors that still profit from burning oil and generals of his environmental goals .

Investment in road transport accounted for 38% of the €11 billion the EIB invested in transport projects last year, although the bank announced in 2019 that it would stop investing in transport projects. fossil fuels by the end of 2021 and would support €1 billion for climate projects before 2030.

The bank recently approved €30 million for a section of motorway in France and is considering offering €400 million for motorways in Poland to connect parts of the so-called TEN-T network.

“We cannot afford institutions like the European Investment Bank to pour billions into highway projects, despite their effects on emissions and pollution. Public money must prioritize climate mitigation actions, encourage walking, cycling, strengthen cycling infrastructure, intermodality and public transport and reduce funds for highway projects,” Kuba said. Gogolewski, who leads Greenpeace Europe’s Money for Change campaign.

Frank Vanaerschot, director of the transparency body Counter Balance, said: “If the EIB wants to reduce investment in road infrastructure, it should actually adopt targets in its policy and show that it will reduce emissions.

Peeters defended the bank’s record on road building, saying, “We’re trying to stimulate electric cars and electric car use and not have new roads for fossil fuel vehicles, but that is a combination and we cannot say that we will no longer invest in roads when we have this very important network in Europe.

The bank has been particularly supportive of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network, a network of rail, road and waterways designed to unite the bloc, the main elements of which are due to be completed by 2030.

Peeters added that the bank is placing more emphasis on urban transport, such as subways and trams.

As part of its new transport lending policy, the EIB will establish a stricter test for road infrastructure projects costing more than €25 million, which combines an estimated cost of carbon emissions and a likely traffic jam. The bank said it would “eliminate projects dependent on strong traffic growth in the short term.”

The EIB’s management committee and board, made up of representatives from the 27 EU member states, will decide whether each project meets the test requirements, Peeters said.

Vanaerschot argued that the tests were not transparent and “do not guarantee that the EIB will meet EU climate targets”.

The EIB is to revise its energy lending policy after the summer to incorporate elements of the EU’s Green Deal climate law, which aims to push the bloc towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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