France: Partnership between the EIB and Caisse des Dépôts - €1 billion for local authorities and their energy transition
29 April 2021
A new credit line to improve local authorities’ access to small-scale investments
A step forward for the joint initiative launched in 2013 to revitalise sustainable investment projects throughout France
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Caisse des Dépôts are making a new €1 billion credit line available. With this financing, the third of its kind, Caisse des Dépôts, through Banque des Territoires’ lending arm, can continue to provide the public sector with fixed-rate loans in addition to its traditional products and services. This move confirms the strength of the partnership struck by Caisse des Dépôts and the EIB in June 2013 to provide sustainable investment projects throughout France with fresh impetus.
This programme makes European funding highly accessible for local-authority investment projects of less than €25 million. It follows on from two previous deals signed in 2015 and 2019 which brought €1.8 billion of financing to the French public sector. This new line goes in tandem with a strengthened commitment to climate action, with at least half of the amount intended for projects that help combat or mitigate the effects of global warming.
The EIB funds will improve access to long-term finance for small-scale investments, particularly in energy-efficiency measures for buildings, water supply and sewerage networks, sustainable mobility and clean public transport.
This financing expands Banque des Territoires’ range of loans for the public sector and its products that are index-linked to the Livret A, a government-sponsored savings account. The ultimate goal is to boost the sustainability of France’s regions. This financial partnership embodies the strong fit between Banque des Territoires and the EIB in how they support sustainable investment at regional level.
“This financing is a perfect illustration of the commitment of the EIB, as the EU climate bank, to promoting green projects and helping make the European Union the world’s first carbon-neutral economy by 2050,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “Thanks to this latest chapter in our partnership with Caisse des Dépôts, the EIB is also facilitating small and medium-sized local authorities’ access to funding for their investment projects, since these generally face the most difficulties in securing EIB financing.”
“Thanks to this new phase of our partnership with the EIB, we can bring EU financing within easier reach of all French local authorities and help make climate change projects a reality.This additional financing therefore plays an active role in Caisse des Dépôts’ Recovery Plan, whose support for the energy and ecological transition is of key importance to the common good,” said Eric Lombard, chief executive of Caisse des Dépôts.
About the Banque des Territoires
Set up in 2018, Banque des Territoires is one of Caisse des Dépôts' five areas of expertise. It brings together within a single structure all of our in-house expertise for local areas. As a one-stop shop for customers, it provides bespoke solutions in terms of consulting and financing through loans and investment to meet the needs of local authorities, social housing bodies, local public undertakings and the legal professions. It has been set up to serve the interests of all local areas alike, from rural municipalities to large cities, with the ambition of combating social inequality and territorial divisions. Banque des Territoires is also rolled out across Caisse des Dépôts' 16 regional managements and 36 territorial offices so as to resonate more meaningfully with our customers, in their neighbourhoods.
The credit line is being set up in two phases: a first tranche of €500 million was signed at the end of 2020 and a second will be signed in 2021.
With the backing of the European Investment Advisory Hub set up by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), Banque des Territoires is launching “S’GREEN+”. This development aid initiative will provide 25 cities participating in the City Centre Action programme with operational support as they roll out their climate change adaptation projects.
The EIB and Banque des Territoires will each invest €100 million in an investment platform to finance the energy transition of bus fleets across France. Managed by Banque des Territoires, this platform will offer innovative financing to local and urban mobility authorities looking to green their bus fleets to reduce their climate impact. The Clean Buses Platform is part of Caisse des Dépôts’ recovery plan and environmental transition efforts. The EIB’s investment is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.
In the presence of Minister of Finance and Public Accounts Michel Sapin, the EIB, represented by President Werner Hoyer, and Caisse des Dépôts, represented by Deputy CEO and Director of Savings Funds Odile Renaud-Basso, signed a major partnership agreement which will enable EU funds to be deployed at the heart of the regions, especially in support of small and medium-sized local authorities and the environmental and energy transition.