The European Investment Bank risks wasting €29bn (£25bn) of EU taxpayers’ money by overinvesting in gas projects which will be unnecessary under Europe’s climate action plans, according to a report. The EIB vowed late last year to end its support for fossil fuels within the next two years to become the world’s first “climate bank”, but 32 gas projects are still eligible for funding before the crackdown. The majority of these projects would waste billions of euros of taxpayers’ money, according to Artelys, an independent data science company, because they would be left as “stranded assets” in the move towards cleaner energy. The report warns that gas investments will be unnecessary in the decades ahead because Europe already has enough infrastructure – such as pipelines and processing plants – to meet the continent’s future demand. The Lithuanians say they are preparing for any eventuality: from stockpiling iodine tablets to opening up nuclear bunkers and issuing survival notes to their citizens. In October, authorities ran a major preparedness operation, imitating a disaster response to a nuclear meltdown. The drills were knowingly hyperbolic. But several reported incidents do give pause for thought.
Guardian 20th Jan 2020 read more »