BRUSSELS, July 25 (UPI) -- The European Investment Bank said it adopted a new set of guidelines meant to ensure adequate investments in renewable energy and efficiency.
The EIB said it would focus its short-term efforts on financing renewable energy projects, energy grids and energy efficiency, three areas which it said should require the most amount of investment in the coming years.
European leaders are debating renewable energy goals which would expand on existing benchmarks set for 2020.
EIB Vice President Mihai Tanasescu said there are urgent investment challenges in the energy sector in the European economy.
"Significant long-term investment across Europe is essential to achieve our energy and climate targets and maintain a technological lead," EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said in a statement Wednesday.
The EIB said it would set standards weeding out investments that don't meet EU standards for a low-carbon economy. The investment arm of the EU said natural gas would be supported as a transitional fuel for a low-carbon economy.
The EIB said lending to carbon-intensive energy resources like coal has declined to represent less than 1.5 percent of its overall energy lending during the last five years.