On 23 June 2014, the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a new loan in support of energy efficiency and education – the first EUR 400 million instalment, for the refurbishment and modernisation of schools in France, of a total EIB loan of up to EUR 1 billion.

This is the first EIB loan for schools on a national scale. It will specifically enable new buildings to be constructed to high environmental quality standards or even obtain the positive energy label. The refurbishments will lead to energy savings by improving the buildings’ energy efficiency.

“Our priority is to support a competitive and responsible energy transition. And this is key to boosting growth and jobs, especially for young people in France. This is how Europe works: first and foremost, concrete targeted action in the heart of the regions. Action resolutely geared to the future”, said EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive at the signing ceremony.

The loan will be channelled through the EIB’s partners Crédit Agricole and the BPCE (Banques Populaires et Caisses d’Épargne) Group.  Thanks to the EIB’s AAA rating, the end customers will gain access to long-term funding on attractive terms. This financing operation is an example of the EIB’s mobilisation in support of the major EU priority of young people’s education and training, already demonstrated by its financing of upper secondary schools and universities in France.  The loan will make it possible to improve all young people’s access to knowledge and higher education, opening the way for training and a successful career.

For a competitive and responsible energy transition: EUR 5 billion since January 2013

In France the EIB’s action in support of the energy transition has taken the form of massive investment: EUR 5 billion worth of new loans since January 2013, targeting concrete projects at national and regional level in areas as varied as sustainable transport, renovation of schools and universities, refurbishment of social and private housing, biomass, waste management, energy security and electric vehicles. The goal is to optimise energy efficiency and consumption and to reduce the impact of climate changes on people’s daily lives.