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EU unveils 'climate-smart investments' worth EUR 9bn

12 December 2017, 17:59 CET
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EU unveils 'climate-smart investments' worth EUR 9bn

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(PARIS) - The EU's Climate Action Commissioner announced some EUR 9 bn-worth of climate-focused investments Tuesday, for areas such as sustainable cities, sustainable energy and sustainable agriculture.

The investments - announced by Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete at the 'One Planet Summit' in Paris - are part of the EU External Investment Plan (EIP), which is set to mobilise at least EUR 44 billion of sustainable investment for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries by 2020.

"These kinds of investments are of critical importance if we are to move from aspirations to action," said Mr Canete: " The EU's External Investment Plan, with its focus on sustainable development and the low-emission and climate-resilient transition, will scale up much-needed investments across Africa and the EU Neighbourhood region. The benefits will be multiple: new jobs, accelerated and sustainable growth, enhanced resilience to climate change impacts, improved health, poverty reduction and better connectivity."

The EIP includes a new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) that will - through a guarantee - support investments by public financial institutions and the private sector, mitigating the risks and leveraging additional funding, notably from private sources, in the sectors covered by the three "windows".

Among the investment windows - each of which is expected to generate approx. €3 billion investments, with a guarantee volume of between €200 and €300 million each - are:

  • Sustainable Cities to mobilise investments within the municipal infrastructure sectors of sustainable urban planning, sustainable and smart mobility, water, sanitation, waste management, renewable energy services and energy efficiency, resilient infrastructure and buildings, including social housing. Specific objectives for proposed interventions could include increasing access to basic services, direct and indirect job creation and reduction of local pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation.
  • Sustainable Energy and Connectivity, supporting the development of new low-carbon and climate-resilient opportunities in sustainable energy and potentially transport sub-sectors, as well as helping to reduce energy poverty. The expected positive impacts include increased access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, increased renewable energy generation capacity, increased energy security and the improvement of sustainable and climate-friendly transport and logistics chains.
  • Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Entrepreneurs and Agribusiness, supporting investment opportunities for the private sector that achieve sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient and inclusive growth along the agricultural value chain. Specific outcomes for proposed interventions could include increased agricultural yields, output and income, gender equality, better distribution of added value, improved sustainable agricultural practices, increased entrepreneurship and improved food security.

At today's One Planet Summit, Commissioner Arias Cañete also took part in a panel debate on scaling up finance for global climate action, which examined ways to mobilise more funds for low-carbon and climate adaptation projects through both North-South and South-South cooperation.

Together, the EU and its Member States are the world's biggest provider of climate finance, giving developing countries a total of €20.2 billion last year. The EU is also collectively the world's top provider of development assistance, giving €75.5 billion last year, almost 60% of the global total.

External Investment Plan (EIP) - background guide

Commission website

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