EIB proposes new energy lending criteria

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has published its proposed new assessment criteria for energy projects, which would see it continue to finance high-efficiency, low emission coal-fired power plants.

The new criteria proposes to screen out future lending to unabated coal and lignite-fired power plants by setting an Emission Performance Standard of 550 g Co2/kWh, bringing the bank’s lending criteria in line with the priorities of the European Union (EU).

The standard will be benchmarked to the emission reductions required by the EU Emission Trading Directive.

However, it is still expected to allow financing of certain coal-fired power projects, such as those for plants with carbon capture and storage or co-firing biomass, as well as high-efficiency combined heat and power plants.

The funding of coal-fired power projects by the EIB is controversial, with many environmental campaigners arguing that such funding is contrary to the EU bloc’s climate change goals.

The EIB Board of Directors is due to vote on the revised criteria on 23 July 2013.

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