13 Nov 2019, 12:01
Freja Eriksen

Ban Ki-moon calls on Germany to back EIB ban on loans for fossil fuel projects

Der Tagesspiegel / Euractiv

Former secretary-general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has called on the German government to back the proposal to ban all fossil fuels projects, including natural gas, from the list of those eligible for European Investment Bank (EIB) support by 2020 in an opinion piece in Der Tagesspiegel. "Germany must take a stand on the right side of the debate and lead by example rather than cause further delay," writes Ki-moon, as media have reported that the German government may block the EIB plan. The country's plan to phase out nuclear and coal-fired power generation relies on natural gas as a "bridging technology," according to the government. "But a credible response to the climate crisis requires a similarly vigorous approach to the use and financing of natural gas and all other forms of fossil fuels," writes Ki-moon. Euractiv at the same time reports that Germany is preparing to abstain from voting on the bank's future energy lending policy at the next EIB board meeting on 14 November. Under EIB procedure, this would, however, qualify as opposition.

Germany owns 16 percent of the EIB's shares, giving its vote a significant weight along with that of the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Asked about the German government’s position on natural gas in the EIB’s new lending policy, a finance ministry spokesperson told Clean Energy Wire: “The federal government is committed to a sustainable EIB lending policy in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the EU's climate and energy objectives.”

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