European investment bank to stop financing coal-fired power plants
The European Investment bank (EIB), the EU's main lending arm, said it would stop financing most coal-fired power stations to help the 28-nation bloc reduce pollution and meet its climate targets. New and refurbished coal-fired power plants will not be eligible for funding unless they emit less than 550 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour (gCO2/kW), the EIB said on Wednesday, which could be met either by a combined heat and power plant or one that also burns biomass. "Adoption of the new lending criteria represents an important step forward in the European Investment Bank's commitment to energy investment that supports EU policy and reflects the urgent investment challenges currently facing the energy sector," Mihai Tanasescu, EIB vice president responsible for energy lending, said in a statement. The EU lender also said it could tighten the emissions standard in the future to ensure its lending criteria are consistent with EU climate policy and create jobs across Europe. The EIB decision follows moves by other multilateral financial institutions such as the Washington-headquartered World Bank to fund coal-fired power stations only in "rare circumstances".