EIB unveils €1 billion vehicle to drive energy transition in France

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is partnering with public sector financial institution Caisse des Dépôts to establish a new €1 billion ($1.2 billion) investment vehicle aimed at accelerating the energy transition in France.

Caisse des Dépôts will continue to provide the public sector with fixed-rate loans in addition to its traditional products and services. The organisation provides consulting, as well as financing through loans and investment to meet the needs of local authorities, social housing bodies, local public undertakings and the legal professions.

The €1 billion credit line will be made available for local authorities planning to implement projects of less than €25 million ($30 million) in sectors including energy-efficiency measures for buildings, water supply and sewerage networks, sustainable mobility, and clean public transport. The project is part of efforts by EIB and Caisse des Dépôts to strengthen their commitment to climate action with at least 50% of the funding going towards projects designed to combat climate change and the effects of global warming.

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This financing expands Banque des Territoires’ range of loans for the public sector and its products that are index-linked to the Livret A, a government-sponsored savings account.

The deal follows two previous deals signed by EIB in 2015 and 2019 which brought €1.8 billion ($2.1 billion) of financing to the French public sector.

EIB and Caisse des Depots partnered in June 2013 to provide sustainable investment projects throughout France.

In addition to helping France to ensure the sustainability of its energy supply, the European Union is also helping the country to reform its electricity market for secure energy supply. The EU has opened a consultation on the country’s proposed market reforms, aimed at leveraging the input of the private and public sectors in assessing the potential of the proposed plan to aid France in securing reliability of its energy supply.

EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle, said: “This financing is a perfect illustration of the commitment of the EIB, as the EU climate bank, to promoting green projects and helping make the European Union the world’s first carbon-neutral economy by 2050.

“Thanks to this latest chapter in our partnership with Caisse des Dépôts, the EIB is also facilitating small and medium-sized local authorities’ access to funding for their investment projects, since these generally face the most difficulties in securing EIB financing.”

Eric Lombard, chief executive of Caisse des Dépôts, adds: “Thanks to this new phase of our partnership with the EIB, we can bring EU financing within easier reach of all French local authorities and help make climate change projects a reality. This additional financing, therefore, plays an active role in Caisse des Dépôts’ Recovery Plan, whose support for the energy and ecological transition is of key importance to the common good.”