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14 Oct 2019, 13:28
Julian Wettengel

German govt should back banning natural gas from EIB support list – researcher

EurActiv / Clean Energy Wire

The German government should back the proposal to ban all fossil fuel projects from the list of those eligible for support by the European Investment Bank (EIB), including natural gas, writes energy researcher Claudia Kemfert of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in a guest post for EurActiv. Natural gas is a fossil fuel and its production and combustion produce greenhouse gases and possible CO2 savings compared to coal and oil could be “exceeded many times over by methane leaks during extraction and transport,” writes Kemfert. Financing the construction of fossil infrastructure delays the switch to renewable energies, as long plant lifetimes lead to lock-in effects and stranded investments, writes Kemfert. “By approving the new EIB lending policy, the grand coalition can show with little effort and great impact that it is serious about climate action.”

EurActiv had reported that Germany could block EIB plans to purge its loan books of fossil fuels, including natural gas, by 2020. 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.” Last week, economy minister Peter Altmaier had emphasised that natural gas as a “bridging technology” would “remain an important element of Germany’s energy supply system for many years.” EIB delegates of all member states will vote on 15 October on an update to the bank’s energy lending policy, the first draft of which proposes dropping all fossil fuels.

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