The European Investment Bank is aiming to provide 500 million euros ($540 million) of financing in environmental and climate-related projects in China this year, while exploring co-investment opportunities with Chinese banks in overseas green projects, a senior official of the bank said on Tuesday.
The EIB－the European Union’s bank, owned by its member states－is expanding investments in China in the areas of urban transport, forestry and energy efficiency, according to Jonathan Taylor, vice-president of the EIB. “We have a strong pipeline of climate-related projects across China that are currently under examination and expect them to be financed in the coming months,” Taylor said at a news conference in Beijing.
The European bank is also discussing with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank a number of co-financing initiatives in other countries, including a green transport project in an Asian country, Taylor said, without providing further details.
Taylor is leading an EIB delegation for a five-day visit to China, where it will hold discussions with the Ministry of Finance, the People’s Bank of China as well as the National Development and Reform Commission on existing and new initiatives to jointly support climate investment.
The European Investment Fund, a subsidiary of the EIB, is also cooperating with China’s Silk Road Fund to provide financing to European innovative firms, according to Taylor. The EIB provided 298 million euros to finance climate-related projects in eight Chinese provinces last year, including energy efficiency schemes in Shandong province and a large-scale biomass project in Henan province.
Jiang Shixue, a researcher at the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the EIB’s initiatives in China were an example of strengthened financial cooperation between China and Europe to address climate issues and to support green and sustainable growth. “The ongoing financial cooperation could also serve as a link between the Belt and Road Initiative and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s investment plan,” Jiang said. The EIB has provided 84 billion euros to finance new investments internationally, including 19.6 billion euros for climate-related investment.