A new six-point renewable energies action plan for the European Investment Bank (EIB) was outlined at the International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn, today.

EIB Vice President, Peter Sedgwick highlighted the EIB's new commitments, setting targets and timetables for the Bank's actions to increase its support for investment in renewable energies. He presented the new action plan during a plenary session on the final day of the four-day conference bringing together delegates from governments, intergovernmental organisations, the private sector, research institutions and civil society organisations.

The EIB is the European Union's (EU) long-term lending institution set up to support capital investment promoting EU policies. The Bank's lending for renewable energies (RE) investment is already significant, totalling over EUR 1.6billion in the last five years (1999-2003).

In his presentation, Peter Sedgwick committed the Bank to:

  • increase its lending for RE by up to 50% of its financing for electricity generation in the EU by 2010. This will promote the EU´s target of 22% of electricity generation being accounted for by RE. On current trends, this new target will represent some EUR 700 million a year for RE generation by 2010. 
  • enhance support for RE investment in developing countries and emerging markets in support of the EU's Energy Initiative and EU plans for the "Patient Capital Initiative". This Initiative will be a public-private fund to increase access to risk capital to RE projects; 
  • promote the EU "Environmental Technologies Action Plan" which also covers RE technologies; 
  • allocate EUR 500 million between 2004-2007 to finance CO² reduction projects through the EIB's Climate Change Financing Facility related to the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, which also covers projects outside the EU; 
  • provide EUR 10 million for a new EIB Climate Change Technical Assistance Facility for grants towards carbon trading transaction costs. 
  • continue to explore with other multilateral financing institutions the establishment of a new Carbon Credit Fund.

The EIB's RE action plan reinforces its support for the EU climate change policies, as highlighted in a new updated EIB Environmental Statement launched at the start of the Bonn conference. The Statement expands and strengthens the Bank's commitment to support EU environmental and social policies, focusing on its mission to support investment contributing to improving the environment, including RE projects, and to ensure that any adverse effects on the environment in other projects it finances are mitigated.

The EIB's extensive activities to protect and improve the environment are outlined in its new Environmental Report 2003 published earlier this month. It is the second annual environmental report issued by the Bank.