EU to scale-up climate smart investment in Africa


As part of the European Union (EU) External Investment Plan (EIP), which is set to mobilise at least €44 billion of sustainable investment for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries by 2020, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete has on Tuesday December 12, 2017 announced at the ‘One Planet Summit’ in Paris climate-relevant investments in three targeted areas – sustainable cities, sustainable energy and connectivity and sustainable agriculture, rural entrepreneurs and agribusiness. These targeted areas are expected to generate up to €9bn investments by 2020.
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “The historic Paris Agreement has added wind to the sails of already accelerating climate-smart investments. These kinds of investments are of critical importance if we are to move from aspirations to action. The EU’s External Investment Plan, with its focus on sustainable development and the low-emission and climate-resilient transition, will scale up much-needed investments across Africa and the EU Neighbourhood region. The benefits will be multiple: new jobs, accelerated and sustainable growth, enhanced resilience to climate change impacts, improved health, poverty reduction and better connectivity.”
International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica 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.”
The EIP includes a new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) to support investments by public financial institutions and the private sector, by lowering the investment risks and leveraging additional funding, notably from private sources, in a range of investment areas (so-called “windows”).
The three investment windows are:
Sustainable Cities to mobilise investments within the municipal infrastructure sectors of sustainable urban planning, sustainable and smart mobility, water, sanitation, waste management, renewable energy services and energy efficiency, resilient infrastructure and buildings, including social housing. Specific objectives for proposed interventions could include increasing access to basic services, direct and indirect job creation and reduction of local pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation.
Sustainable Energy and Connectivity, supporting the development of new low-carbon and climate-resilient opportunities in sustainable energy and potentially transport sub-sectors, as well as helping to reduce energy poverty. The expected positive impacts include increased access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, increased renewable energy generation capacity, increased energy security and the improvement of sustainable and climate-friendly transport and logistics chains.
Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Entrepreneurs and Agribusiness, supporting investment opportunities for the private sector that achieve sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient and inclusive growth along the agricultural value chain. Specific outcomes for proposed interventions could include increased agricultural yields, output and income, gender equality, better distribution of added value, improved sustainable agricultural practices, increased entrepreneurship and improved food security.
At today’s One Planet Summit, Commissioner Arias Cañete also took part in a panel debate on scaling up finance for global climate action, which examined ways to mobilise more funds for low-carbon and climate adaptation projects through both North-South and South-South cooperation.
Together, the EU and its Member States are the world’s biggest provider of climate finance, giving developing countries a total of €20.2 billion last year. The EU is also collectively the world’s top provider of development assistance, giving €75.5 billion last year, almost 60% of the global total.