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

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 18,149,860 — Total deaths: 690,624 — Total recoveries — 10,753,318Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 4,690,404 — Total deaths: 155,124 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Business: Virtual school is another setback for retail — The pandemic hasn't hampered health care.
  5. Public health: Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
33 mins ago - Podcasts

White House adviser Peter Navarro talks TikTok

President Trump has relaxed his threat to immediately ban the popular social media app TikTok, giving Microsoft room to negotiate an acquisition from Chinese tech giant ByteDance.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the situation with Peter Navarro, the White House's top trade adviser and a noted China hawk, who suggests Microsoft should be forced to make unrelated concessions related to its China operations.

Trump says TikTok will be banned if not sold by Sept. 15, demands cut of sale fee

President Trump said Monday that TikTok will be shut down in the U.S. if it hasn't been bought by Microsoft or another company by Sept. 15, and argued — without elaborating — that the U.S. Treasury should get "a very substantial portion" of the sale fee.

Why it matters: Trump appears to have backed off his threat to immediately ban TikTok after speaking with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who said Sunday that the company will pursue discussions with TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance to purchase the app in the U.S.