As the key European public finance institution, including in the EU’s COVID-19 response measures, the EIB can and should play a prominent role in the decarbonisation of the transport sector, especially in its aspiration to be the “EU Climate Bank”. Our analysis of the EIB's transport investment portfolio since 2015, finds that about half of transport-related investments are clearly “aligned” with the Paris Agreement. We propose Paris alignment evaluation criteria, including key factors to take into consideration, and a number of investment priorities for the EIB to not only align all its finance flows with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement but also foster a decarbonisation of transport in Europe.

Main findings:

The transport sector makes up a large portion of EIB overall lending and is key to better connect Europe while promoting a modal shift towards climate friendly mobility models. In order to provide input into both the EIB Climate Roadmap as well as the upcoming EIB Transport Strategy, we reviewed the EIB's transport portfolio of loans since 2015 and propose key considerations for future project lending illustrated through a number of case studies. Based on the decarbonisation challenges of the EU transport sector and the EIB's potential role as the EU Climate Bank we recommend:

  1. Develop a strategic project pipeline for key investment priorities: The EIB should work with potential project proponents to encourage sustainable transport planning and to close investment gaps by massively and strategically scaling up mobilisation of finance to decarbonise the transport sector for example in
    • Enabling modal shift with transit-oriented development
    • Developing an investment roadmap to completely decarbonise/electrify European rail and one to foster research, development, and implementation of decarbonisation solutions for the shipping sector
    • Building the required infrastructure to support electric mobility and efficient, forward-looking freight infrastructure

  2. Establish a clear negative list of ineligible transport funding project types: Projects which actively undermine the Paris Agreement and are not in line with the EIB’s role as Europe’s “climate bank” should not be considered for finance.

  3. Enhance transparency and revise project evaluation processes especially with regard to assumptions on induced emissions: The EIB should disclose its assessment of proposals and disclosure of assumptions regarding factors influencing induced emissions. It should also enhance the transparency of the project descriptions and portfolio in publicly available documentation.

Investment volume of the EIB’s transport-related portfolio 2015-2019 classified along the positive-negative list.
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