European Investment Bank Vice President, Pim van Ballekom, presented the EIB’s Energy priorities and financing options for the Caribbean, during the EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference in Barbados today.
The EIB Vice President signed a joint declaration between the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the Caribbean Forum of Countries (CARIFORUM – CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) on reinforced co-operation in the field of sustainable and renewable energy. During his visit the Vice President met senior government representatives in Barbados to discuss current and future EIB supported projects in the country.
Barbados has benefited from EIB support since 1979 and has received EUR 110 million for the financing of 13 projects in the country. The Barbados Airport which received an EIB loan is one of the flagship projects in the region. During the EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference, Pim van Ballekom outlined an ambition to increase climate action project financing and highlighted the need for more investment in sustainable energy projects across the region.
Commenting on the conference, the Vice President said: “The EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference provides a real opportunity for us to collaborate with key local and international partners in the region to together find solutions to some of the challenges for the region. Sustainable energy and climate action remain key priorities for the EIB and we are keen to support more projects in this sector both in Barbados and across the region.
The tragic consequences of Hurricane Matthew with loss of life and devastating damage across the region, again highlights the importance of climate action and resilience projects in the Caribbean.”
During the margins of the conference, the EIB signed an agreement with respect to its largest loan in the Caribbean for an energy loss reduction project in the Dominican Republic. The EIB also announced a decision to strengthen engagement across the Eastern Caribbean, by assigning a dedicated investment officer to be stationed in Barbados, Floris Vermeulen.
With EUR 77.5 billion of investments in 2015, the EIB is the largest multilateral public bank in the world and roughly 10% of its lending targets investments outside of the European Union. It is owned directly by the 28 European Union Member States.
The European Investment Bank has supported development and economic activity in the Caribbean with loans and equity investment worth EUR 1.6 bn. In Barbados, the EIB has provided a total of EUR 110 million to projects in the energy, transport, water, and private sector development (SMEs) sectors.