BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Investment Bank is likely to borrow some 50 billion euros on the market in 2020, roughly the same as in 2019, and increase its financing of projects to fight climate change above the 31% share of 2019, the bank’s president said on Thursday.
The EIB, the world’s largest multilateral investment bank, is key in leveraging EU funds to generate 1 trillion euros of investment over the next 10 years to finance the EU goal of becoming neutral in terms of CO2 emissions by 2050.
Owned by EU governments, the EIB finances its activity by borrowing cheaply on the market thanks to its AAA rating.
EIB head Werner Hoyer told a news conference that out of 72.2 billion euros the EIB invested last year, almost one third was to prevent climate change. The bank wants that ratio to rise to 50% by 2025.
“You cannot turn a tanker around within hours or days, but I think we are on the right course. I’m convinced we will be far above 31% in 2020,” Hoyer said.
“Of course it would not make very much sense to say we invest 50% in climate projects and with the other 50% we destroy the positive impact of our climate action, so we must make sure that climate is in everything we do.”
He said the bank would raise some 50 billion euros on the market this year, in various currencies, but the exact amount would depend on how much various borrowers would decide to repay during the year. “That can sometimes bring surprises so I could not give you a precise figure on what we expect,” he said.
He said that investment in technologies to fight climate change was a great business opportunity for Europe to get ahead of the rest of the world in innovation.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)