The EIB and the European Commission have invested in The Private Finance for Energy Efficiency and the Natural Capital Financing Facility schemes, which were formally launched in in Brussels by Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for climate action and energy; Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy; Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and representatives of a range of environmental groups.
Both schemes aim to reduce energy use and conserve natural capital, especially biodiversity, Jonathan Taylor explains: “Enabling broader private sector involvement in climate finance and investment in natural capital projects is essential to tackle challenges of this scale and the European Investment Bank is committed to supporting climate action and environmental sustainability.
“We welcome the opportunity to contribute both technical expertise and financial support to increase investment in energy efficiency and natural capital through the two initiatives being launched today. These will help financial institutions and other investors to increase their role and contribute to improving specialist understanding essential for the financing of viable projects in these areas.”
Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries adds: "With these new financial instruments, we are putting the money where it matters. The new instruments will unlock significant public and private investment in key strategic areas like energy efficiency and climate protection. This is a contribution to protecting the climate, saving energy for our citizens and making Europe less dependent on imported energy. This is what building an Energy Union is all about.
“To protect the diversity of our natural surroundings we need to promote the diversity of our funding sources. The Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF) is a new EU funding source that helps businesses to protect nature and adapt to climate change. Now these blended funds can help biodiversity blossom and truly become an engine for growth.”
The NCFF will start with a three to four year pilot phase and is expected to finance nine to twelve operations. It will also be supported by a dedicated €10 million technical assistance programme intended to technical understanding.
The EIB is one of the world’s largest lenders for investment in climate action projects, in 2014 the EIB provided more than €19 billion for climate related investment that represented around 25% of the EU Bank’s overall lending activity.