During the One Planet Summit, the European Commission announced a series of climate-smart investments for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries worth €9 billion.
The news is part of the EU External Investment Plan, which was adopted in September to boost climate investment in partner countries in Africa and the European Neighbourhood. These are countries which lie to the east and south of the EU, including Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine.
The External Investment Plan aims to leverage a total of €44 billion of investment by 2020 through the European Fund for Sustainable Development. In addition, it aims to provide technical assistance for investment projects and develop a favourable business environment to attract further climate finance.
The initial €9 billion plan was unveiled today by Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, during the One Planet Summit in Paris hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.
As explained by Mr. Cañete, the climate investments will address three targeted areas. The first area is sustainable cities, referring to projects such as waste management, water, sanitation and sustainable urban planning.
The second is sustainable energy and connectivity, supporting new low-carbon energy projects, climate-resilient energy infrastructure and reducing energy poverty. The third is sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient agribusiness.
Neven Mimica, International Cooperation and Development Commissioner, said: “These priority areas are setting the agenda for sustainable investments”.
“Unlocking the potential of sustainable energy, promoting digitalisation for development or supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises will help us to create sustainable development and reduce poverty, for the benefit of all”.
To further the goals of the mega-plan, the Commission will launch a new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) to support investments by public financial institutions and the private sector by lowering investment risks and, thus, leveraging additional private funding.
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said: “The time has now come to raise our game and set all the wheels in motion — regulatory, financial and other — to enable us to meet the ambitious targets we have set ourselves”.
“This is a necessity dictated by our current living conditions as well as those of future generations. This is the time that we must act together for the planet. Tomorrow will be too late”, he added.
Climate Action Programme