European Commission – High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance delivers early recommendations

On July 13, The High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, established by the Commission, has published its first report setting out concrete steps to create a financial system that supports sustainable investments. The Commission will explore some key early recommendations to take further steps towards a low carbon, more resource-efficient and sustainable economy.

The report is part of broader efforts to map out an EU strategy on sustainable finance, a priority action of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan. The first wave of EU reforms focused on making the financial systemmore stable and resilient. The Commission is now driving forward efforts to reorient the financial system so that it can support long-term, sustainable growth. The financial sector has a vital role to play in reaching the climate change goals of the Paris Agreement and the EU’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. It is also vital that more private capital is mobilised towards green and sustainable investment so as to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Download the interim report

Paris Conference on social infrastructure

 On July 10, the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) organised, under the auspices of the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI), a conference on “Financing social infrastructure” which gathered more than a hundred European participants. The high level speakers, including former European Commission President Romano Prodi and the former French Economy and Finance Minister Christian Sautter, noted a lack of investment in the fields of “Education, health and social housing in the European Union”.

The conference stressed the importance of finding innovative financing for these infrastructures which have a strong impact on the daily lives of European citizens. Hospitals, universities and social housing are all sectors that ensure both the attractiveness of the territories and the well-being of citizens.

Opening the conference, Pierre-René Lemas, Director General of CDC, underlined the role of an institution such as the Caisse des Dépôts in financing social infrastructure. “The role of the Caisse des Dépôts is to accompany the territories by funding the necessary equipment so essential for the daily life of all citizens: social housing, hospitals, universities, public buildings.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Promoting inclusive growth through the financing of social infrastructure projects is one of the CEB’s priority areas of operation, and I am pleased that the conference addresses this important issue. Indeed, in recent years we have stepped up our cooperation with central governments, regional authorities and municipalities in our member countries in order to lend our full support to their social investments.”

Concluding the conference, Laurent Zylberberg, President of the ELTI association, recalled the important contribution that European public financial institutions can make to the reflection on the financing of social infrastructure. “By taking the initiative to launch a reflection on the financing of social infrastructure, and with the support of prominent figures like Romano Prodi and Christian Sautter, our association affirms the social relevance of the economic model of long-term investors.”

Climate Bonds Initiative – mobilizing the bond market for climate change solutions

Climate Bonds Initiative has released a series of useful briefing papers on ways to mobilise the bond market for climate change solutions. 

 

Green Securitisation: unlocking finance for small-scale low carbon projects

Green securitisation can help unlock finance in debt capital markets for smaller scale low carbon and climate-resilient assets. The public sector has a key role to play to scale up securitisation markets for green assets.

Green Covered Bonds: building green cover pools

Covered bonds are an ideal tool to finance low carbon infrastructure, having been used in other public priority areas. Identifying existing green cover pools and developing frameworks for other low carbon assets will help scale up investment.

Green Bond Pricing in the Primary Market: Q4 2016 snapshot

Initial findings indicate that there is over-subscription and tighter pricing of USD and EUR denominated green bonds in the primary market.

The Role of Exchanges in accelerating the growth of the Green Bonds Market

There is a clear potential for exchanges to create dedicated green bond segments, develop indices and support market education to facilitate investor decisions towards climate-aligned investments and enhance the market’s liquidity.

Green City Bonds: financing low carbon urban infrastructure

Green City Bonds are increasingly used by municipalities and other city-affiliated entities, such as utilities and transport companies, to finance climate-aligned infrastructure.

 

February 7 – Intergroup dinner-debate – EU prudential regulation, balancing growth orientation : the green investment agenda and stability

On 7 February, 2017, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament together with the European Financial Services Round Table – EFR – held a dinner debate on EU prudential regulation and incentives towards green investments.

Download the minutes

Sans titre 3

List of the speakers

Denis DUVERNE, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AXA, Vice-Chairman of the European Financial Services Round Table (EFR)               

Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, European Commission

Sir Adrian MONTAGUE, Chairman of Aviva, Chair of the European Financial Services Round Table’s working group on Climate Change

Mikołaj DOWGIELEWICZ, Permanent Representative of the European Investment Bank to the European Union

Download the agenda

Download the biography of the speakers

Download the list of participants

Urban Intergroup – Long-term investments: Barriers and opportunities for regions and cities – March 8, 2017 – European Parliament

 

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Long-term investments: Barriers and opportunities for regions and cities

Wednesday, 8th of March 2017, from 14.00 to 16.00, in the European Parliament, Brussels

Room JAN 6Q1

What are the challenges faced by the regional, local authorities as well as the private sectors regarding long-term investments? How can the EU help to overcome them?

This event will try and address these questions and will include presentations on key issues, followed by a debate featuring EU institutions, city politicians and financial experts on the current Eurostat rules and their impact on regional and local public investments in several sectors such as transport, energy efficiency and waste management.

It will be the occasion to better understand and explore possible avenues to transform current barriers into future opportunities for region and cities. A catalogue featuring examples of barriers experienced by all sectors will also be presented and distributed at the event.

Registration

Agenda

ELTI – Romano Prodi chaired the first Plenary Meeting of the High-Level Task-Force on Social Infrastructure

Launched by the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI) chaired by Laurent Zylberberg, the High-Level Task Force on Social Infrastructure (“HLTF SI”) held its first plenary meeting in Brussels on February 13th under the chairmanship of Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and Christian Sautter former French Minister of Economy, Finances and Industry.

The “HLTF SI” will publish recommendations by the end of the year to promote the financing of social infrastructure (health, education, social housing…). More than 20 experts will provide input to the Task Force organised in two working groups. They will focus on “the investment needs in social infrastructure” and the “availability and gaps on long-term financing to support investment in this area”.

Infrastructure is essential to economic productivity and to the functioning of societies and is a crucial prerequisite for economic growth. Among them, social infrastructure, particularly those linked to the health, education and social housing sectors, contribute to improving the living conditions of European citizens but also to the competitiveness of the territories. However, this type of infrastructure, even when demand is growing, is faced with an insufficient supply of financing (knowledge economy, aging population, changes in the real estate market, etc.).

At the end of the meeting, the President of the European Long-Term Investors Association Laurent Zylberberg declared: “The High-Level Task-Force on Social Infrastructure maximizing public value is an ambitious process carried out within the framework of the ELTI association with the support of its members including Caisse des Dépôts Group, Cassa Depositi e prestiti, KFW, its associate members Council of Europe Development Bank, LTIIA and its permanent guest the European Investment Bank. The involvement of Romano Prodi, Christian Sautter, the National Promotional Banks and Institutions, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and of the most relevant stakeholders in this Task Force are both a guarantee for success and a sign of the relevance of this initiative. The Task-Force will propose, by the end of the year, recommendations that we hope to be both innovative and achievable.

The members of the HLTF SI are: Romano Prodi (Chairman), Christian Sautter (Vice-Chairman), Benjamin Angel, Antonella Baldino, Guido Bichisao, Lieve Fransen (chair WG 1), Lutz-Christian Funke, Edoardo Reviglio, Valeria Ronzitti, Bernadette Ségol, Eugene Zhuchenko, Laurent Zylberberg, Luc Zelderloo, Enrico Giovannini, Helmut von Glasenapp.

See press release

European Commission – Commission and European Investment Bank announce a fund for broadband infrastructure open to participation of National Promotional Banks and Institutions and of private investors

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced today their plans to launch a fund for broadband infrastructure – the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund.

This fund, which will lead to an investment platform combining private and public commitments, is announced together the European National Promotional Banks and Institutions (NPBIs) that aim to participate in the initiative as anchor investors: KfW Bankengruppe from Germany, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti from Italy and Caisse des dépôts et consignations from France. The Connecting Europe Broadband Fund will invest in broadband network infrastructure across underserved areas of Europe.

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: “I am grateful to our financial partners for the establishment of this broadband Fund. It is an important development for smart and efficient funding of broadband projects, especially in underserved areas, in line with the spirit and the letter of the Investment Plan. It is a great step towards a European Gigabit Society for all.”

High level representatives of the three NPBIs underlined the importance of this initiative as one of the first investment platforms under the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) and the key role of this new financial instrument for the broadband expansion in their respective markets.

The Connecting Europe Broadband Fund should raise at least €500 million at first closing through commitments from private and public investors, including the EIB and the European Commission. The European Commission will invest €100 million into the Fund from the Connecting Europe Facility. This fund will be open to participation of NPBIs. KfW Bankengruppe, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Caisse des dépôts et consignations, the three largest European NPBIs, have already expressed their interest in a possible contribution to the fund as anchor investors at first closing.

The Fund should be the first investment platform to support broadband infrastructure under the EFSI, the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. The EFSI Regulation facilitates the establishment of investment platforms under the EFSI as a tool to pool investment projects with a thematic or geographic focus. The establishment of this investment platform responds to the growing demand for financing of smaller-scale, higher-risk broadband projects across Europe, which currently do not have access to EU finances. The Fund will be additional to other sources of funding from the market, from other EU instruments, or financing of projects by its anchor investors.

The Connecting Europe Broadband Fund aims to invest in equity and quasi-equity, including mezzanine and subordinated debt, in some 7 to 12 broadband projects each year from 2017 to 2021. The Fund’s investments will be of a size between €1 million and €30 million, for projects representing total costs of €150 million or less. Overall, the Fund is expected to unlock additional investments between €1 billion and €1.7 billion in broadband deployment in underserved areas, where very high-capacity networks are not deployed yet. The Fund aims to have invested in 20 countries by 2021.

The operational launch of the Fund is expected to take place mid-2017.

Dinner Debate : ESG criteria and the Capital Markets Union

On November 9, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament held a dinner debate on ESG criteria in the context of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) in the presence of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), officials from the European Commission, and representatives of the industrial and the financial sector and of the civil society.

Download the minutes

ESG dinner debate November 9

Agenda

Biographies of the speakers

Anne-Catherine Husson-Traoré, Novethic “Measuring the impact of ESG factors on investment decisions and for the green transition”

 

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, STRASBOURG – THE JUNCKER PLAN HEREIN AND ABROAD – Informal exchange of views with National Promotional Banks & Institutions (NPBIs) & the EIB

SAMSUNG CSC

On November 23, 2016,  a delegation from the European Long Term Investors Association (ELTI), the French Caisse des Dépôts, the German KfW, the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Slovenian SID Bank, the European Investment Bank and the French development agency AFD met with several MEPs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg to share their experiences and engage in the discussions around the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and the launch of the External Investment Plan, designed to encourage investments in Africa and in the EU Neighbourhood region.   

Download the agenda

Download ELTI’s position paper on the Investment Plan for Europe

Download KfW, AFD, CdP and AECID’s position paper on the External Investment Plan

 

EIB – Investment Plan for Europe – EIB invests EUR 40m in Quaero European Infrastructure Fund

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Sébastien Bourget, Managing Partner of Quaero Capital, announced in Strasbourg the EIB’s EUR 40m equity participation in Quaero European Infrastructure Fund. This investment is covered by the guarantee of the EU budget under the Investment Plan for Europe, more commonly known as the Juncker Plan.

The participation of the EIB – a European benchmark financier – will be vital to enable Quaero European Infrastructure Fund to reach a scale of EUR 250m, thereby helping to attract other investors. Quaero European Infrastructure Fund provides equity financing for projects in the fields of social infrastructure, transport, telecoms, energy and public or private amenities. The Fund invests in Europe, where its core target is the infrastructure project financing market, translating into small to medium-scale operations.