Speaking at the start of a five day climate focused visit to China, the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank announced that Europe’s long-term lending institution provided EUR 298 million (2.2 billion CNY) to support investment in new environmental, energy efficiency and forestry projects across China last year. New cooperation between the European Investment Bank and the People’s Bank of China to mobilise greater support for green finance from institutional investors was also confirmed.

“The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest lender for climate related investment and this week’s visit will strengthen cooperation between China and Europe to support investment essential to cut carbon emissions and adapt to a changing climate. China and Europe both recognise the crucial need to strengthen green finance to support global sustainable growth to better protect the environment and tackle a changing climate.” confirmed Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut, Ambassador of the European Union to China.

“Reflecting the European Investment Bank’s commitment to supporting climate related investment across China I am pleased that last year we were able to support new projects from Heilongjiang to Hainan and build on a track record of more than 22 years of backing transformational investment in this country.” highlighted Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.

Demonstrating the European Investment Bank’s commitment to support climate related investment across China a total of EUR 298 million (2.2 billion CNY) in new financing was signed in 2016. This included forestry projects in Hainan, Shanxi, Fujian, Guizhou, Jiangxi and Heilongjiang, energy efficiency schemes in Shandong and large scale biomass to energy investment in Henan.

The European Investment Bank further confirmed a strong pipeline of new climate related projects across China, including urban transport, forestry and energy efficiency that are currently under examination and expected to be financed in the coming months.

During the visit the European Investment bank delegation will discuss ongoing and new initiatives to strengthen support for climate related investment with Ministers and senior officials at the Ministry of Finance, China’s Vice Minister of Finance, the National Development and Reform Commission, New Development Bank, People’s Bank of China and regional representatives from Hainan and Shenzhen.

The European Investment Bank and People’s Bank of China will for the first time jointly host a high-level workshop with leading Chinese investors, financial institutions, regulators, securities firms and multilateral financial institutions based in China to develop an integrated approach to green finance. The two institutions will also use the occasion to detail a new initiative to examine opportunities to enhance the confidence of Chinese and international investors in green finance through more consistent definitions and methodologies.

“As highlighted by G20 leaders in Hangzhou last September sharing experience and best practice is essential to strengthen effective investment in clean energy, sustainable transport and energy saving and to promote an ambitious shift in private investment to provide long-term financing for the green economy. This week’s visit will enable myself and EIB colleagues to learn how technical and financial experts and investors are successfully strengthening the Green Financial System here in China and how the EIB’s unique experience can contribute to these efforts.” added Vice President Taylor.

Reflecting the shared goal to support economic growth in both China and Europe the European Investment Bank welcomed ongoing cooperation between the European Investment Fund and  the Silk Road Fund and NDRC.

The European Investment Bank pioneered the Green Bond market in 2007 by issuing the world’s first green bond, branded as “Climate Awareness Bonds”. Since then the EIB has issued EUR 16.2 billion in Green Bonds across 11 currencies, making the EIB the world’s largest issuer of Green Bonds at the end of January 2017.

The European Investment Bank has financed projects in China since 1995 and last year the European Investment Bank Group provided EUR 84 billion to finance new investment around the world, including EUR 19.6 billion for climate related investment.