Today in Le Bourget at the COP21 climate summit, Jean-Louis Bancel, CEO of Crédit Coopératif, and Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), signed an agreement under the new Private Finance For Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) initiative. Ségolène Royal, Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Energy, attended the signing ceremony for this agreement, which is designed to support investment in energy efficiency.

The law on energy transition aims, in particular, to reduce energy consumption by 50% in 2050 compared to 2012. It was against this backdrop that in France the EIB chose Crédit Coopératif to implement its PF4EE initiative.

Thanks to this agreement, Crédit Coopératif will be able to provide EUR 75m in additional loans to enterprises or associations to promote energy efficiency and it will benefit from the technical and financial expertise of the EIB's specialised consultants. The agreement also includes a risk mitigation mechanism, which provides for part of the losses incurred by the bank in relation to these energy efficiency-related loans to be covered.

"It is essential to raise private finance to be able to implement an ambitious global agreement on climate. I am delighted that this new instrument is starting to generate concrete projects aimed at reducing energy consumption and is leading to increased investment in energy efficiency", said Mr Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy.

"This loan is of symbolic importance at the time of COP 21", remarked EIB Vice-President Mr Ambroise Fayolle. "Energy transition is one of our priorities. That is why we are bringing together our resources, skills and expertise to support projects that will have a direct impact on sustainable development and on the daily lives of citizens. EIB support for climate action is expected to correspond to nearly 40% of our activity in France in 2015."

"Crédit Coopératif is a bank committed to supporting bodies and enterprises that wish to reduce their environmental impact and many of our customers' activities are directly concerned with the environment: associations, cooperatives and other enterprises in the social and solidarity economy. We are therefore very happy to be the French bank that will work with the EIB under the new Private Finance For Energy Efficiency initiative. This agreement will make it possible to take concrete action affecting the environment in the regions and help to put in place a low-carbon economy in tandem with our customers", stated Jean-Louis Bancel, CEO of Crédit Coopératif.

The Private Finance For Energy Efficiency instrument was established by the EIB and the European Commission (as part of the LIFE programme) to address the lack of tailored, affordable commercial finance available for energy efficiency investments.

The EIB has already signed an agreement of this kind with banks in the Czech Republic and Spain. The ultimate goal is to stimulate at least EUR 1bn of new investment in energy efficiency in Europe (EU-28) and thus tackle the crucial challenges of climate change.

The PF4EE instrument combines three aspects. The first consists of an EIB loan for financing eligible energy efficiency projects, to be managed by local banks. The second component covers the losses potentially incurred by partner banks in relation to energy efficiency loans. The third component will bolster the implementation of the PF4EE instrument by transferring the technical and financial experience acquired in the course of other similar projects.