The European Investment Bank (EIB) decided this week to invest €1.5bn in a natural gas pipeline connecting Italy, Greece, and Albania – despite MEPs having requested a vote on such preferential treatment given to fossil-fuel gas projects.
The bank's decision has been heavily criticised by environmental groups, who said it was "one of Europe's largest ever loans to one of the EU's largest fossil fuel projects", EUobserver reports.
Among the concerns is that the project will increase greenhouse gas emissions, and that the use of gas will be prolonged beyond what some scientists say is the final gas phase-out deadline if Europe is to keep up to its Paris treaty promises.
The project is called the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), and it is part of a larger concept, the Southern Gas Corridor.
The latest would transport natural gas from Azerbaijan, through Turkey, to Europe. The TAP would be the last leg of the gas route.