The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved €8.1 billion (US$9 billion) in financing for climate action, sustainable development, health and education investment across Europe and around the world.
This includes support for renewable energy projects, the development of electric vehicles, and improving the energy efficiency of homes. EIB financing will also help to build water infrastructure and rural roads in developing countries impacted by a changing climate.
“The climate emergency demands that we act now. And the EIB is responding,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer. “As I confirmed at COP 25 in Madrid earlier this week, the EU Bank is committed to doubling support for climate action around the world and mobilizing EUR 1 trillion for climate investment over the next decade. Projects approved today demonstrate the EIB’s commitment to accelerate the take up of clean energy, sustainable transport, energy efficiency, water, and agricultural investment that reduces emissions and protects vulnerable communities against extreme weather.
“Innovation will help us tackle global warming and give us a win-win: as we deal with climate change we will be reducing the innovation investment gap between Europe and its global competitors. There is no trade off: we can and must do both things.”
Accelerating clean and renewable energy investment
EIB agreed on new financing to support a large wind farm in the North Sea, small renewable and energy efficiency projects in Italy, and the expansion of electricity distribution in western Nepal to enable remote communities to benefit from hydropower. New renewable energy projects, including hydropower and wind farms across Brazil, will also be supported.
Encouraging business to invest in climate action
EIB says private sector engagement to cut energy use is key to reduce carbon emissions. EIB approved €3.8 billion (US$4.2 billion) of new financing for business investment. This includes targeted support for climate action in partnership with local banks and financial partners in Belgium, Denmark, France, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Helping cities to cut energy use
Refurbishment of existing urban infrastructure to enable more efficient energy and water use, as well as better protect against extreme weather, is essential to accelerate climate action. EIB agreed on new financing for smart grid and water infrastructure in Linz, Austria, and backed sustainable urban transport investment in the Slovakian capital Bratislava and new investment to improve wastewater treatment in Mitrovica, Kosovo.
The EU bank also approved new investment by municipal and regional authorities to improve the energy efficiency of housing across the Netherlands. EIB will also finance the construction of new drinking water treatment facilities and expansion of clean water distribution to benefit more than 2 million people in Niamey, the capital of Niger.
Other initiatives EIB supports include ensuring sustainable transport alternatives to car use, backing agricultural and bio-economy investment in countries affected by drought, supporting sustainable development to protect vulnerable communities worldwide, and expanding schools and transforming hospitals
This article was first published on Smart Energy International and was reprinted with permission.