Brussels - 14 July 2022

The European Investment Bank (EIB) endorsed yesterday a new transport plan which drives more public money into polluting highways. Despite acknowledging how cars and lorries pump huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, the EIB failed to curtail investments in climate-damaging highway infrastructure, said Counter Balance and Greenpeace on the EIB Board of Directors' decision.

Frank Vanaerschot, Counter Balance Director, said: "The EIB has let down both people and the planet with its cowardly decision to continue using public money to build polluting highways. The bank knows that car use is intensifying the climate crisis. If the bank wants to reach its own goal of helping transport emissions decline in the next few years, it must replace cars with public transport - not more traffic and new highways.”

Kuba Gogolewski, Lead Campaigner of the Money for Change Greenpeace European Campaign, said: “We are in the middle of a climate emergency, it is time to stop funding what creates the problem, and fund instead mobility options for all. We cannot afford to have institutions like the European Investment Bank pouring billions into highway projects, despite their effect on emissions and pollution. Public money must prioritise climate-mitigation action, encourage walking, cycling, boost cycling infrastructures, intermodality and public transport and cut funds to motorways projects.”

The EIB is still fuelling fossil fuel pollution despite pledging to divest from fossil fuel projects from the end of 2021. As well as supporting fossil fuel companies to the tune of €7.4 billion for non-fossil fuel investments in the past two years - including €2 billion to companies still burning large amounts of coal - the EIB also leaves loopholes open to support LNG-fuelled vessels.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Creeney, Media and Communications Officer, Counter Balance, + 32 (0)2 893 08 61,

Kuba Gogolewski, Lead Campaigner of the Money for Change Greenpeace European Campaign, +49 17 0765 2509,

Notes to editors

  • Counter Balance and Greenpeace’s press release in advance of the decision is available here.
  • An analysis of the policy by CEE Bankwatch Network, Counter Balance, Greenpeace and urgewald is available here.
  • The EIB press release on the transport policy is online here.
  • Counter Balance and CEE Bankwatch Network recently analysed the EIB’s transport and energy investments covering 2020 and 2021 in our latest report, Flattering to deceive: A reality check for the ‘EU Climate Bank’.