Europe Explores New Climate Finance Initiatives


"EU set one of most ambitious emission-reduction targets in the world."

European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and European Investment Bank (EIB) President Philippe Maystadt have agreed to explore a joint climate-finance initiative for developing countries as part of the EU commitment made at the Copenhagen UN climate conference last December.

During talks at EIB headquarters in Luxembourg, they also welcomed a political agreement reached in mobilizing finance for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy technologies in the EU through the NER (New Entrants Reserve) 300 initiative.

Commissioner Hedegaard said: "Adequate finance is crucial to agreeing and implementing an international agreement limiting global warming to 2 C.

"The EU has set one of the most ambitious emission-reduction targets in the world. Financial institutions such as the EIB, together with the private sector, will play a key role in helping the EU deliver on its emission commitments as well as on mobilizing the financial flows needed for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in developing countries."

EIB VP Simon Brooks, who is responsible for environmental protection issues, said: "We think a EU climate action finance platform would give visibility to the commitments made by the EU in Copenhagen last year. The idea is to combine European Commission and Member States' grants with financing from the EIB and other European financial institutions to meet the different challenges posed by adaptation and mitigation in the most efficient way."

The European Commission and EIB are already cooperating in the implementation of the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF). Launched in 2008, GEEREF has already provided finance to renewable energy funds in Southern Africa and Asia.

The European Commission proposed in April increasing the ceiling on EIB financing outside the EU by 2 billion in the period 2011-13 and dedicating this extra lending to the fight against climate change.

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