The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Province of Limburg have signed a loan agreement to support investments in regional sustainability projects. The EUR 30 million loan will be guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), part of the Investment Plan for Europe of the European Commission.

The loan will be channelled to the Limburgs Energie Fonds (LEF), a fund established by the Province of Limburg and managed by Finquiddity, that invests in small to medium sized projects in and for Limburg in the areas of reduction of CO2 emissions, removal of asbestos in buildings and circular economy initiatives. The investments financed will contribute to EU priority objectives and will support the 2020 Climate Action Objectives.

“Smaller and local projects will be key to upholding the Paris Agreement, and innovative ways to finance these will be more and more needed. This includes using public money in the form of loans and guarantees, rather than subsidies.” said EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom. “Combating the effects and causes of climate change should be high on everyone’s agenda and we are very happy that, thanks to EFSI, we can support the Province of Limburg in this initiative.”

Daan Prevoo, regional minister for Sustainablity and Energy in the Province of Limburg added: “In addition to the environmental and economic advantages, LEF has also made substantial progress with regards to trade and the labour market. Hundreds of jobs have already been created through almost 30 projects that have been realised thanks to LEF-investments. A very promising prospect, given the fact that many projects are still in the application phase!”

Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission, added: “Investments in energy-efficiency projects and the circular economy are at the core of the Investment Plan for Europe’s objectives. In EFSI 2.0, 40% of investments should go to projects that are helping to reach the COP 21 climate goals. The fund set up by the Province of Limburg will lead to a greater number of sustainable investments and jobs in the region. With COP 23 still underway, this project is showing the way for climate-friendly growth.”

Jan-Willem König of the Limburg Energie Fonds (LEF) observed: “This commitment from the EIB endorses all the hard work we have put in over the last few years to build the fund to what it is now. With these funds the LEF will boost its financing capacity, allowing us to accelerate the innovative sustainable energy market.”

The LEF will support on average around 10 new projects that will help to reduce CO2 emissions each year. Climate action is one of the main priorities of the “Juncker Plan” and so far, some EUR 9.6 billion has been made available for sustainable projects in the energy sector.