EIB renews its transport lending policy
Luxembourg, Luxemburg – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has renewed its policy on lending to the transport sector. The decision was taken today by the Bank’s Board of Directors at their meeting in Ljubljana, on the occasion of the 2007 EIB Forum devoted to the topic of "Investing in Energy – Mastering Climate Change".
As in all areas of EIB activity, transport lending has been driven by EU policy. In the present context of heightened attention to climate change the Bank is committed to a review of its lending approach in the transport sector to ensure that its support focuses on the sustainability of Europe’s transport.
This review follows the adoption of the Action Plan for Energy Policy by the European Council in March 2007. The Bank has incorporated these new decisions into its energy policy and the resulting policy document, “Clean Energy for Europe: a reinforced EIB contribution”, was approved by the Board of Governors in June www.bei.org/about/publications/clean-energy-for-europe.htm The Council of Transport Ministers agreed in June 2007 that it is also necessary to develop a European energy strategy for transport.
The EIB’s new transport lending policy sets the guiding principles and selection criteria that will reinforce the Bank’s contribution to this sector, in particular taking into account climate change concerns. It includes a background note on Global Warming and Transport.
Mobility is essential for the free movement of people and economic growth. In this context, the EIB will pursue an approach that strives for the most efficient, economic and sustainable way of meeting transport demand.
The Bank will uphold its strong commitment to the funding of Trans-European Networks (TENs). Priority will continue to be given to railways, inland waterways and maritime projects, in particular Motorways of the Sea, as well as to urban transport and hubs between modes of transport. All road projects will have to demonstrate appropriate economic returns.
Further emphasis will be placed on the RDI activities of vehicle manufacturers, focusing on energy efficiency, emissions reduction and safety enhancement. EIB financing for car production will, however, be selective and limited to projects in convergence regions which are in line with EU environmental and energy efficiency policies.
Airport projects will be supported when they demonstrate high economic value, also taking into account the possible future reduction of demand due to emission charges on air travel. Air traffic management merits particular attention. The Bank will only finance aircraft purchases in exceptional circumstances when very strong value added can be demonstrated.
The document “A renewed policy for EIB lending to the transport sector” will shortly be available on the Bank’s website The EIB would welcome comments on this document, and the Bank’s policy will be updated on a regular basis.