The finance ministers of the European Union have called on the economic block to completely stop al funding to oil, gas and coal projects. Experts estimate that if this measures is followed up, it would potentially lead to cancellation of annual investments worth €2bn.
The EU finance ministers pointed out their concerns directly at the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU’s financing department, and called on the institution to halt all of its funding to such projects.
On earlier occasions, the EU finance ministers had called for halting of funding for all projects that are run on coal only. A total of €13.4bn worth of fossil fuel projects have been funded by the EIB since 2013. About €2bn worth of projects was funded last year by it.
Reports, citing confidential documents have said that after Hungary suggested that Croatia and Ukraine might otherwise rely on Russia, some gas projects may be excused.
It is common for EU member states to root for and support gas projects relatively routinely because gas is viewed to be a cleaner alternative to coal and oil as well as a lot dependable when compared to the reliability of some of the renewable sources of energy especially during the winter months.
The EID and other international financing organisations like the World Bank was requested in a joint statement from the EU member country ministers that those institutions should “phase out financing of fossil fuel projects, in particular those using solid fossil fuels, taking into account the sustainable development, and energy needs, including energy security, of partner countries”.
In recent years, there have been growing protests against the use of fossil fuels for power generation and other projects. For example, within the United Kingdom, activists who are members of the Extinction Rebellion group are demanding governments declare a climate emergency and want the government to announce a pledge to bring down net carbon emissions to zero by 2025.
Internationally, Extinction Rebellion estimates an additional 400 of its activists have been arrested since 31 October 2018, including about 70 in New York City. The request from the finance ministers of the EU will need to be agreed by the EIB board, which meets on 14 November.
(Adapted from BBC.com)