EIB confirms strong support for green EU economy in PoznanPublish date: 12-12-2008
The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group underlined its commitment to addressing climate change through its financing activities at the 2008 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference - COP 14 - in Poland. The EIB, which promotes EU priority objectives through its lending operations, was represented both at the high-level Finance Ministers' discussions in Warsaw and at the main conference in Poznan.
The EIB has well established activities to tackle climate change and plays a key role in helping the EU to achieve its environmental objectives both inside and outside Europe. The EIB has heightened its contribution to addressing climate change has heightened in recent years, not least during the current difficult financial climate. In line with the European Economic Recovery Plan endorsed by the Ecofin Council on 2 December, the EIB Group will extend an additional EUR 6 billion annually in 2009 and 2010 in support of clean energy, energy efficiency and low carbon technologies to contribute to a greener EU economy.
At an EIB press conference on Thursday 11 December in Poznan, Simon Brooks, Vice President responsible for the Bank's environmental activities, said, "The EIB has a pivotal role to play over the course of the coming two years. Through our lending operations we must ensure that Europe's measures to address the financial crisis remain in line with longer-term objectives. The promotion of environmental protection and clean and efficient energy are amongst the most significant of the EU long-term goals which the EIB supports and can provide real economic and business advantages."
EIB President, Philippe Maystadt, spoke to the gathered Finance Ministers in Warsaw earlier in the week about the EIB's climate change strategy. He announced the actions which the EIB Group will undertake in the coming years to fight climate change, amongst them:
- an EU sustainable energy initiative, focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy
- a plan to promote finance for low-carbon technologies, especially in the transport sector
- the Marguerite Fund, a 2020 European equity fund for energy, climate change and infrastructure
The EIB Group also chaired and participated in three side-events in Poznan where its complete range of exiting initiatives to tackle climate change were presented. On Wednesday 10 December, the Bank hosted a joint event with a number of other multilateral financing institutions including the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The institutions discussed the means of harnessing the carbon market to promote investment in sustainable development. Speakers focused on the transport and energy sectors - two priority objectives for the EIB.
On Thursday 11 December EIB Vice President Simon Brooks met with Commissioner Stavros Dimas of the European Commission's DG Environment to update side-event participants on the recent launch of GEEREF- Global Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund, a fund of fund initiative of the European Commission structured by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and managed jointly by EIF and EIB Representatives of GEEREF's team members explained how this public-private partnership will be used to leverage private investments in small and medium sized, environmentally sound and sustainable energy solutions in developing countries.
The EIB also held a workshop on preparation of its contribution to a post-2012 regime. Internal experts outlined the initial success of Bank's innovative Post-2012 Carbon Fund - the first of its kind which was launched in 2007. A number of invited experts from outside the EIB gave opinions on the Bank's future role, opening the floor to further discussions ona range of topics including renewable energy, energy efficiency, ecosystem services and clean technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage.
Environmental considerations are mainstreamed into all areas of activity at the EIB and the Bank is currently finalising its new Statement on Environmental and Social Principles and Standards. The Statement has been open to two rounds of public consultation and the second draft is available on the EIB website at: http://www.eib.org/about/documents/eib-statement-esps-annex2-statement.htm
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