From hybrid vaporetti in Venice to energy efficiency in Paraguay – EIB Board approves EUR 8.4bn of new investment

The Board of the European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed EUR 8.4 billion of new financing. This includes support for new investment across Europe and around the world to improve sustainable transport, clean energy, social housing, telecommunications and water infrastructure. 

The EIB also approved EUR 3 billion of new support for business investment through both direct financing and credit lines with local banks. 

“Improving sustainable transport and strengthening clean energy are key investment priorities to enable Europe’s sustainable transition to a “net-zero” emissions economy. In recent weeks political leaders have called on the EIB to build on the EU Bank’s unique experience to accelerate investment to support green and sustainable development. The range of projects approved today and strategic issues discussed demonstrate our firm commitment to helping address these challenges in the years ahead and especially to support the EU’s climate action agenda and the “New European Green Deal” envisaged by Ursula von der Leyen incoming President of the European Commission.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

The meeting also discussed the draft EIB Energy Lending Policy following a first reading at last month’s meeting.  After a constructive debate, it decided to continue the discussion at the next Board meeting on November 14, with a view to reaching a final approval. The additional weeks will be used for further bilateral exchanges and technical clarifications.  

“The new Energy Lending Policy is a milestone on the EIB’s road to transform itself into the EU Climate Bank. I am pleased about the important progress made today and am confident of securing a final approval in November,” said Andrew McDowell, EIB Vice President responsible for energy. 

The new EIB Energy Lending Policy is intended to increase support for clean energy innovation and energy infrastructure essential for long-term decarbonisation of energy supply and phase out financing for gas distribution and power generation. 

The policy has been drafted following the most comprehensive public consultation ever held by the EIB.

Over the last five years, the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 65 billion of new financing for global renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy distribution investment.

The EIB approved more than EUR 2 billion of new support for transport investment in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Sweden, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine.

In Germany, the EIB will finance investment in cities across the country to renew and improve bus services and reduce pollution, and provide 60 new trains to replace regional diesel services in North Rhine Westphalia. In Spain, commuters travelling to Madrid will benefit from new investment to provide 211 high-capacity trains to replace outdated rolling-stock.

The EIB will also finance hybrid vaporetti and regional transport investment in Venice, the extension and improvement of the tram network in Graz and will address congested roads in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine.

Expansion of the Baltic port of Ystad in southern Sweden supported by the EIB will remove transport bottlenecks and accommodate an expected increase in cargo and tourism over the next decade. 

The EIB agreed EUR 2.95 billion of new direct and indirect financing to support business investment.

This includes support for corporate innovation in Austria, Germany and Spain, large-scale tourism investment in Croatia and a new programme to increase automation and digitalisation of Poste Italiane.

The EIB agreed to finance local financing programmes to accelerate energy efficiency and small scale renewable energy projects in Germany, Spain and Brazil and reduce energy use by industry in Paraguay.

Separate schemes will finance youth employment in Spain and small scale corporate innovation in the Netherlands, as well as help companies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Egypt to expand. 

The EIB will contribute to three regional equity funds that will enable high-impact private sector investment to support economic development in Africa and the Caribbean.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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