The European Investment Bank, one of the largest international lending banks in the world, announced on May 3 a strategic budget to increase eco-friendly transportation across Europe. Additionally, the bank will fund further education to continue building the European Union’s climate-neutral infrastructure. Approximately 6.6 billion euros will go toward more efficient Central and Eastern European train systems, new school buildings, and renewable energy financing.
“New financing approved by the EIB today [May 3] will support investment to enable greater use of sustainable transport, increase renewable energy use and accelerate electric vehicle innovation. The EIB’s Energy Lending Policy was key in enabling the Bank to promote the green transition,” said Werner Hoyer, president of the EIB, in an official press release.
Transportation improvements are the primary goal of this investment round. The bank will allocate 3.8 billion euros to fund more sustainable transport projects. Railroads are one of the most-used and cleanest ways to shuttle across Europe, but only some nations have the same level of sophistication. Thus, many former Soviet bloc countries don’t have the most updated equipment. This capital fund will modernize the Czech rail system by installing the European Rail Traffic Management System. This will improve safety for travelers on the train and the platform.
In Albania, a 120-kilometer (74.5 miles) rail line will be constructed to connect the country’s rail system to the rest of the European rail network. Road transportation in Romania is also getting a facelift with this investment round. The Madrid metro network’s efficiency is expected to improve in Spain.
Next, 1.2 billion euros will finance more renewable energy projects across the EU. More solar arrays will be installed on warehouse rooftops and distribution centers in Central and Eastern Europe.
More large-scale renewable energy projects will be funded in Spain, Portugal, and Germany hope to provide more clean power to their citizens.
Of course, the EU couldn’t implement all these clean initiatives without corporate buy-in. The EIB’s investment will use 998 million euros for more corporate innovation. Cash injections allow these businesses to continue research and development of clean energy infrastructure, electric vehicle battery technology, and large-scale manufacturing.
The final 625 million euros are going toward education. Eleven new school campuses in Austria will be built with these funds. A new business school in Ireland is also in the cards. The schools can teach the next generation of climate activists and improve these ESG policies.
The EIB has been very ambitious with its green investments. The lending institution has outlined serious climate issues and how technology will mitigate the effects of climate change in the Roadmap 2021-2015 plan. Also, the Environmental and Social Sustainability framework details how the EU addresses environmental issues like air pollution, biodiversity, and social dilemmas.
The EIB has been pioneering clean tech solutions for a few years now. The European Green Deal has made that process smoother, as it outlined carbon neutrality goals.
By 2050, the EU hopes to reach net-zero carbon emissions produced from industry, 3 billion trees planted by 2030, more future-proof job training for the transition to renewables, and better public transportation.
“But even before the European Green Deal, in 2019, the EIB made a very significant commitment to increase the share of its financing dedicated to climate action and environmental sustainability to at least 50% and more by 2025. All new EIB Group operations have been aligned with the goals and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021,” said Eva Mayerhofer, lead biodiversity and environmental specialist at EIB.
While the EIB takes care of Europe, it has substantial influence globally. The bank has worked with African nations to finance more clean-energy solutions and environmental impact work. The EIB can provide any developing nation with economic assistance concerning climate change mitigation. That’s part of the bank’s collaboration with the Green Climate Fund.
Another goal the EIB has is energy security for businesses in light of the Russia-Ukraine war. Energy disruptions with the sanctions on Russian oil propelled the need to expand renewable energy services further. REPowerEU reduces the need for Russian energy, and it’s effective, with 39% of the power coming from renewables and a 20% drop in demand. The latest investment approval will expand renewable energy to even the farthest corners of the European continent.