Climate mainstreaming
the Carbon Footprint Exercise

2017 Carbon Footprint Exercise outside the EU – key figures:

  • 600 000 tonnes CO2-eq/year estimated total absolute GHG emissions from financing of investment projects.
  • 100 000 tonnes CO2-eq/year sequestrated by forestry projects.
  • 1 300 000 tonnes CO2-eq /year reduction in emissions relative to expected alternatives.

The EIB Carbon Footprint Exercise estimates and reports greenhouse gas emissions from projects (not only climate action projects) where, in one standard year of operations:

  • absolute emissions (actual emissions from the project) exceed 100 000t CO2-eq/year; and/or
  • relative emissions (estimated emissions increases or avoidance compared to the expected alternative) exceed 20 000 t CO2-eq/year.

Absolute emissions refer to the direct emissions of the project itself (Scope 1 emissions) plus emissions from generation of the power supply used by the project (Scope 2 emissions). Scope 3 emissions (other indirect emissions) are not normally included in project data; however, they are included for physical infrastructure links such as roads, railways and metros. Relative emissions are estimated by comparing the absolute emissions with the emissions from a baseline identified as the expected alternative.

Whilst relative emissions are important for comparing technologies and projects, at the heart of the EIB’s footprinting approach are the absolute emissions from each project, as these are what will ultimately affect our climate. Individual project greenhouse gas data is assessed at appraisal, and reported on the Bank’s Environmental and Social Data Sheets. For the purposes of aggregated annual reporting, project emissions are prorated to the volume of EIB financing of each project that year, thus avoiding possible double counting with the reporting of other international financial institutions.

In the 2017 exercise, 17 projects (including contracts signed and large allocations approved during the year) representing EUR 1.1bn of EIB lending outside the EU were included. The exercise estimates the greenhouse gas emissions from financing of these investment projects as 0.6 Mt CO2-eq/annum, and carbon sequestration of 0.1 Mt CO2-eq/annum from forestry projects. Estimated savings from the same financing are 1.3 Mt CO2-eq/annum. As per all other EIB annual reports, these figures are subject to audit.

Climate Risk Screening

The EIB has advanced its work on climate risk screening through the development of a Climate Risk Management System appropriately integrated into EIB’s project cycle and processes. This is a framework for the efficient, effective and consistent assessment and reporting of climate risk across EIB’s portfolio.

An initial classification of a project’s climate risk covers the consideration of a project’s climate sensitivity, based on the underlying project activities. Projects determined as climate sensitive undergo an extra level of assessment, based on their promoter capacity. A further level of assessment is used to determine to what extent climate risks have been taken into account by the project promoter with subsequent recommendations for actions.

Intermediated lending where the underlying sub-projects are still unknown (e.g. credit lines and framework loans) are not assessed, but country level information on climate change impacts is highlighted to the project teams and larger sub-projects under framework loans are checked.