EIB launches transport policy, but is it different?

October 16, 2007

The European Investment Bank has published its first investment priorities specifically on transport projects, but environmental organisations are not convinced that much has changed.

[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The EIB, the European Union’s principal source of loan finance for large-scale projects, says it needs to ensure its support ‘focuses on the sustainability of Europe’s transport’. Up to now it has said it has followed EU policy, but has now produced a specific lending policy for transport that includes a background note on global warming and transport.

Although it describes its new lending policy as a consultation exercise, the EIB did not conduct any consultation processes, despite requests from the main NGO monitoring its lending, CEE Bankwatch, to be involved.

A quick review carried out for environmental NGOs suggests the changes to the EIB’s criteria are small, and the new policy is full of words that could mean many different things depending on circumstances. In addition, promoting projects of ‘high economic value’ still seems to get a bigger mention than resource use and emissions potential.

Better news for NGOs is the EIB’s willingness in principle to finance projects not in the trans-European transport network, though whether any do receive funding remains to be seen.

Magda Stockiewicz of CEE Bankwatch said: ‘While it is a positive first step for the EIB to finally have its transport policy in place, the general approach is little more than “business as usual”. As an EU public financier, the EIB should limit its support in transport only to projects with demonstrable contribution to combating climate change and to sustainable development, and we hope environmental campaigners will call on the EIB to deliver on that.’

The new lending policy was launched at the EIB’s annual forum, this year in Ljubliana, Slovenia It can be found at, and comments can be sent to Juan Martin Sterlin at

This news story is taken from the October 2007 edition of T&E Bulletin.

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