The European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to allocate hundreds of millions of euros to additional financing for Irish projects targeting climate change, with a new focus on lending to local authorities.
The bank, an investment lender that is jointly owned by the EU member states, is committed to increasing support for climate action with local authorities, businesses and other partners, said its top figure in Ireland at the Independent Sunday.
“In the coming years, hundreds of millions of new and green finance will be available for future climate investments in Ireland,” said Cormac Murphy, Director of the EIB Group Office for Ireland.
This would mean “a significant increase” in the level of green investment that the EIB is currently providing to Ireland.
The disclosure comes ahead of a high-level visit at the end of the month to Dublin by EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice President Christian Kettel Thomsen to discuss cooperation and, in particular, support for climate action with the Government. .
In recent times, the bank has committed to providing financing of up to € 85 million for individual local authority projects in Limerick, Fingal, County Cork and Sligo.
“We are interested in leveraging the involvement of local authorities in Ireland with the potential as partners to pool and scale investment in climate action,” said Murphy.
He said the bank was open to participating in potential pilot schemes “that have an important local and regional focus,” such as the planned residential modernization loan guarantee program that would offer low-cost financing for modernization investments.
“The EIB provides around € 1 billion of financing annually to Ireland and expanding support for climate action would likely include areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency of homes and buildings, support for public transport that are of both national importance. as a local, ”he said.
In addition to financing, the EIB also offers technical assistance to share best practices and financing as a key to accelerating climate action.
“We have worked with partners across Europe and around the world, who have faced similar challenges in areas such as flooding and modernization or modernization of fire stations to reduce heat waste. Rehabilitation of peatlands is another area where the EIB’s experience can be useful, ”said Murphy.
He said an increasing part of the bank’s mandate was to support “smart and sustainable development strategies.”
“All this in the context of the bank’s broader engagement with other key Irish climate stakeholders and its ambition to expand this engagement in line with the future Climate Action Plan and the EIB’s strategy as the EU’s climate bank,” he said. .
Murphy made the comments ahead of Climate Finance Week.
He must speak this week on accelerating green investing and sustainable finance at the Economic Opportunities Arising from Climate Action conference, hosted by Local Authorities Supporting Enterprise.