Financing innovation is key to driving the development of low-carbon technologies, European Investment Bank (EIB) president Werner Hoyer said at the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia on September 2.
The Bled Strategic Forum is a two-day conference, traditionally held in the Slovenian mountain lake resort of Bled, with this year’s focus on the future of Europe. The other topics also included green and digital transformation. The forum is being attended by senior EU officials, but also leaders from the Western Balkans countries.
“The energy sector provides the perfect model: decades of investment have led to the availability of relatively cheap, clean energy generation and distribution technology that can be deployed at scale,” Hoyer said at the Forum, according to the EIB statement published on September 3.
Hoyer said that the public sector plays an important role in this investment, but the scale of the challenge means that private sector investment is indispensable.
“The EIB is ready to support the transition to low-carbon technologies and will play a key role in mobilising private finance with its financial and technical expertise. Still, additional effort to unlock private investment is needed, given its current low levels," the EIB president said.
According to him, the greatest risks associated with climate change would emerge if carbon emitting countries and industries fail to align with the aims of the Paris Agreement.
EIB vice president Lilyana Pavlova tied the move to invest in these new climate technologies to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing that there is an opportunity to accomplish both these policy goals through a “green recovery”.
Speaking at the same forum dedicated to Central and Southeastern Europe, Pavlova said the EU’s green recovery plan should focus on investment in climate technology.
“We need to transform the way our economies work by investing heavily in new technologies, in skills and in infrastructure, all entailing climate mitigation and climate adaptation,” Pavlova said.
In Bled, Hoyer and Pavlova met with Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Jansa and Finance Minister Andrej Sircelj to discuss how to foster a green recovery and the EIB’s continued support for the Slovenian economy, with financing and advisory services.
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