IGU Criticises EIB Ban on Fossil Fuel Funding
The International Gas Union (IGU) has criticised the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) recent decision to stop financing fossil fuel projects, which it says conflicts with the bank’s commitment to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative.
The EIB’s board pledged on November 14 to halt all funding of oil and gas projects by 2021, following pressure from EU finance ministers.
“Natural gas is an essential component of the global energy mix if there is any hope of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals,” the IGU said in a statement on November 18.
Gas is the “most flexible, abundant and available fuel, that offers an immediate reduction in GHG emissions from higher emitting fuels that a widely burned,” the association continued. It also “guarantees reliability and security of energy systems, and eliminates air pollution, all the while enabling the world to lift communities out of poverty and supply safe and modern energy to where it is still in deficit.”
The IGU added that paired with carbon capture and storage technologies and supplemented with renewable gases, gas could be made practically emission-free.
“The EIB decision will have the effect of taking all of this promise off the table for many jurisdictions around the world – where there are millions of people who need more energy to fuel their economies and improve their quality of life,” the organisation said. “The IGU expresses its strong opposition and concern to the EIB decision, as we believe that prudent policy-making should be based on effective performance objectives and guided by desired outcomes, instead of picking technologies and prematurely choosing winners and losers.”