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Workers are standing at the construction site of the receiving station of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lubmin. Photo: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

The European Investment Bank has decided to end all financing for fossil fuel development by the end of 2021 — including natural gas projects.

Why it matters: It's the "first time any major multilateral lender has curbed lending to natural gas projects because of climate change concerns," the Financial Times reports.

  • And Bloomberg points out that the bank, which adopted the policy Thursday, is the world's largest multilateral financial institution.
  • "Given the EIB's market impact and influence over the lending strategies of investors, its decision could end up depriving polluting projects from other sources of financing as well," they write.

Yes, but: The policy leaves the door open for financing natural gas projects — with a big caveat.

  • "Gas projects are still possible, but would have to be based on what the bank called 'new technologies,' such as carbon capture and storage, combining heat and power generation or mixing in renewable gases with the fossil natural gas," Reuters reports.

The big picture: The move underscores a growing focus in climate circles on natural gas, which produces far less CO2 when burned than coal, but is nonetheless a major emissions source.

  • "The EIB's new financing criteria will make lending to gas projects very difficult. It highlights that gas is also increasingly in the spotlight of the climate debate," Wood Mackenzie research director Nicholas Browne said in a note Friday.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

35 mins ago - Health

J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Monday that he is "absolutely" confident that the company will be able to meet its distribution goals, which include 100 million doses by June and up to a billion by the end of 2021.

Driving the news: J&J is already in the process of shipping 3.9 million doses this week, just days after the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the one-shot vaccine. Gorsky said he expects vaccines to be administered to Americans "literally within the next 24 to 48 hours."

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Clash of the central bankers

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Bloomberg, Samuel Corum (Stringer)/Getty Images

While Fed chair Jerome Powell is brushing off the seismic rise in government bond yields and a corresponding decline in stock prices, a group of central bankers in the Pacific are starting to take action.

Driving the news: Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda told parliament on Friday the BOJ would not allow yields on government debt to continue rising further above the BOJ's 0% target.

Biden expresses support for Amazon workers' union vote in Alabama

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Biden expressed support for a union vote by Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama in a two-minute video posted on Twitter Sunday, though he did not name the tech giant specifically.

Why it matters: A vote by workers at the Bessemer, Ala., warehouse to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union would make the facility the first Amazon warehouse to unionize in the U.S., per NPR. The election will run through March 29.