“Mobilising citizens towards a Fossil Free EU Bank” aims at protecting the environment and climate at European level by challenging public investments in fossil fuels. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the financial arm of the European Union as well as the largest multilateral lender globally - with EUR 83bn spent in 2016. The Paris Agreement highlights the need to align financial flows and investments with the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Fossil Free EU Bank

The project “Mobilising citizens towards a Fossil Free EU Bank” aims at protecting the environment and climate at European level by challenging public investments in fossil fuels. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the financial arm of the European Union as well as the largest multilateral lender globally - with EUR 83bn spent in 2016. The Paris Agreement highlights the need to align financial flows and investments with the ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Nevertheless, the EIB is still providing support to fossil fuels: since 2013, it provided EUR 10 bn for oil and gas projects. However an opportunity to get the EU Bank on the right track is coming up: the EIB will review its Energy Policy in 2018. Back in 2013, Counter Balance used the previous revision of EIB’s energy policy to get the bank to stop support to coal projects. Hence, Counter Balance will coordinate civil society’s inputs in this upcoming process in order to reach our far-reaching goal of getting the EIB out of fossil fuels investments. Counter Balance have already planned advocacy work and built alliances with decision-makers at EU level, but what is needed now is a strong media and communication effort to raise awareness about the climate, financial and social impacts of public funding for fossil fuels. A pedagogic work to inform citizens and decision-makers on the need for keeping fossil fuels in the ground is needed. A crucial step will be communicating to a broader audience our key message of “No more public money for fossil fuels” to build pressure on the EIB to clean its act. Innovative tools like social media actions (Twitter storms and online petitions) are needed to engage the general public, alongside more traditional work towards European and national media. The network has considerable contacts in the Brussels press corps and with journalists across Europe. The objective is that a growing number of decision-makers, NGOs, citizens and media convey the messages towards the greening of public finance. Counter Balance is a network of 9 European NGOs with a Brussels-based secretariat. The secretariat and its members will ensure EU-wide coverage for the campaign.

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