On January 10, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament held a conference on the improvement of energy efficiency for the benefits of consumers. The event brought together 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.
List of the speakers
Simona BONAFE, MEP, Vice-president of the Long-term Investment Intergroup
Dominique RISTORI, Director-General for Energy, European Commission
Dochul CHOI, Vice president of Samsung and member of the steering committee of European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED)
Round-table – From industry to consumers: energy efficient and smart solutions for a low carbon economy:
Moderator : Theresa Griffin, MEP
Federico DE STEFANI, CEO of SITGroup, European Heating Industry (Ehi)
Sylvie PERRIN, Head of Project, Smart Electric Lyon, EDF
Justin WILKES, Deputy Director, European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardization (ECOS)
Alain CAUCHY, Property Director, Group Société Nationale Immobilière (SNI), Caisse des Dépôts Group
Paul HODSON, Head of Unit “Energy Efficiency”, DG Energy, European Commission
Opening remarks and keynote speech
After welcoming the participants and introducing the speakers, MEP Simona BONAFE outlined the objectives of the Long Term Investment group: stimulating the debate on the lack of public and private investment throughout Europe. She stressed that bringing together legislators, investors and public operators is key to fostering more investments and that energy is one of the field where such investments are needed. Simona BONAFE further explained that contributions from the consumers are an essential aspect of the energy transition: their choices in the technology and smart applications they use or their understanding of their energy consumption help identify priority issues. In addition to being consumers, they must be enabled to enter the market as producers of renewable energies. As she explained, massive renovation is also needed throughout Europe to make buildings more energy efficient and such effort can only be undertaken through large scale and forward-thinking investments. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can be part of this renovation effort, but beyond EFSI, energy efficiency policies need to be improved. She concluded her remarks by welcoming the fact that each of the eight legislative texts proposed by the Commission in the “Clean Energy for all” package addresses the issue of consumers’ rights.
Dominique RISTORI, Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, delivered the first keynote speech. Mr. RISTORI stated that a successful management of the energy transition will be crucial in order to implement the Paris agreement. Those investments should focus on energy efficiency, renewable energies, as well as the development of smart and innovative products. Discussing the “Clean Energy for all” package, presented by the Commission in November 2016, the Director-General insisted on the necessity for European institutions to negotiate rapidly on these issues. He explained that this package is coherent and will be decisive in fostering investments and expanding consumers’ rights. A sound and clear regulatory framework is the first imperative for investments. Europe must remain the first driving force in the renewable energy sector. This calls for strong association between, the industry, the energy sector and research and innovation actors to produce the best renewables possible. Mr. RISTORI believes that this package also empowers consumers, in a way that has never been done before, enabling them to increase their level of information. Consumers should be able to become active and informed actors, allowing them to become producers or store electricity.
The second keynote speech was given by Dr. Dochul CHOI, vice-president of Samsung, on behalf of CECED, association representing the home appliance industry in Europe, including 20 companies as Direct Members. As Dr CHOI pointed out, energy and consumers are both at the heart of the home appliance industry and the sector has developed a strong connection with consumers throughout Europe. He conveyed his support to the proposals presented by the Commission in the “Clean Energy for all” package, specifically the provisions enabling consumers to contribute more actively to the energy market. He underlined on how consumers’ contribution can help shape the energy market and the home appliance sector. Dochul CHOI hopes that these legislative proposals will translate into effective actions. Research and development in the Home appliance sector currently represents investments of 1.4 billion euros annually and the sector as a whole is looking to develop smarter and energy efficient appliances. Dr. CHOI concluded his remarks by indicating that CECED released its first report on the contribution of the Home Appliance industry to Europe on January 10.
Round table “From industry to consumers: energy efficient and smart solutions for a low carbon economy”
MEP Theresa Griffin gave a few introductory remarks on the “Clean Energy for all” package. From her perspective, the challenge is to involve all Europeans: the alleviation of energy poverty is crucial and energy must be considered a basic social right. This package represents an important challenge but also an opportunity to consider consumers and their role in the energy market.
The round-table started with the intervention of Federico DE STEFANI, CEO of SITGroup, representing the European Heating Industry (EHI). As Mr. DE STEFANI stated, heating accounts for 40 % of the final energy consumption in the EU, mainly consumed to provide heating and hot water for buildings. Such a high level makes it a crucial sector in achieving the EU’s climate and energy goals. While minimal efficiency standards, such as the standards set by the “ecodesign directive”, usually apply to new appliances, much still needs to be done to accelerate the rate of modernization or replacement of appliances since 85 % of the market still relies on older appliances. Replacement rate is currently very low and should be increased by at least 25 %, in order to achieve EU targets. Many efficient technologies are available but heating system replacement is usually carried out with little anticipation, with the consumers replacing their heating system only when their previous appliance stops working. According to Mr. DE STEFANI, labeling installed appliances according to their level of efficiency may help consumers better anticipate and plan their transition to a new appliance. This system is used successfully in Germany and he feels that the upcoming review of the Energy Performance of Buildings directive should make such labelling compulsory throughout the EU. Smart heating technologies could also better inform the consumers on their maintenance. In order to finance the transition to these efficient technologies, he believes that investment into energy efficient renovations should be available in priority to the residential sector.
MEP Theresa Griffin then asked Sylvie PERRIN, Head of Project for EDF, to present the Smart Electric Lyon project. EDF, along with 21 industrial and research partners, launched this collaborative programme in 2012, to explore the possibilities given by Smart Grid technology. The project reached over 20 000 clients and it is to this date, the biggest technology demonstrator for Smart Grid in Europe. Mrs PERRIN explained that the programme focused on defining how smart communicating meters, such as the Linky meter provided by ENEDIS, can help consumers manage their energy consumption. Experiments were carried out with residential consumers, as well as industrial plants, and local authorities’ buildings. Today over 2 million smart meters have been installed. Consumers were given a comparative survey of their consumption and of the consumption of another household of the neighbourhood sharing similar characteristics. According to Sylvie PERRIN this simple comparison helped the consumer lower their energy consumption with an average of 0.9%. The programme also tested out different tariff policies: when given comprehensive details of their energy bill, consumers usually adapted their consumption to help reduce consumption peaks. For commercial buildings, Smart Electric Lyon provided energy management appliances leading to a drop in their final consumption from 15% to 50% for older buildings. Finally, energy efficiency refurbishment helped achieve major outcomes, especially in the social housing sector. Mrs PERRIN concluded her remarks by stating that consumers are beginning to ask for environmental friendly technologies and that this criterion is becoming, in some cases, as important as the cost factor.
Justin Wilkes, Deputy-Director, spoke on behalf of the European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardization (ECOS). ECOS represents 42 non-governmental organisations, working on a daily basis to promote environmental aspects within the standardisation system and ecodesign process.. Mr. Wilkes explained that a clear direction must be set at the top, by European institutions, in order to provide a stable long-term visibility for industry and consumers. This visibility can be achieved through the legislative regulatory framework, which must work as an incentive for the market to veer towards smart and eco-friendly technologies. He believes that energy efficiency targets set by the EU for 2030 can be more ambitious. Mr. Wilkes insisted on the necessity to design policies that are coherent from top to bottom and to put more focus on the enforcement of those policies and to market surveillance. ECOS welcomes the release by the Commission of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, which will be delivering more than 500 M€ savings per year on household energy bills.
Alain CAUCHY, Property Director for the SNI, briefly presented SNI, France’s first social landlord and a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts Group. SNI manages over 345 000 housing units in France, three quarters of which are social housing units, throughout the French territory. SNI first developed a global energy strategy plan in 2011. This plan is monitored regularly by assessing the average energy consumption of the property stock, as well as the average reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Monitoring how energy efficiency impacts the cost of energy for the final beneficiaries is also important for SNI, since they provide housing mainly for low-income households. As a public housing operator, SNI does not rely on any return of investment when carrying out energy efficiency refurbishment. The savings achieved by reducing energy bills benefit entirely to the tenants. As Mr. CAUCHY explained, SNI improves energy efficiency mainly by refurbishing the existing housing stock, focusing primarily on building insulation (windows, roof…) then smart equipment and heating performance. Likewise, new constructions are designed to integrate existing thermal regulation, and often go beyond the minimal criteria set out by the regulations. Energy efficiency measures are financed through several instruments, such as the eco-loan provided by the Caisse des Dépôts. SNI is currently working with the EIB to launch quasi-equity loans for over 25 000 housing units.
Paul HODSON, Head of Unit “Energy Efficiency” in the DG Energy of the European Commission concluded this round-table. As he outlined, the target of 30% for energy efficiency by 2030 will have strong implications for the industry. Innovation in the industrial and energy sectors already helped improve energy efficiency. However some products, such as fridges have almost reached their full potential as far as energy efficiency goes. Creating new innovative products is one way of bettering energy efficiency but renovating existing products is also key in reaching the targets set by the Commission. This renovation effort will have a strong impact on the economy: it will help create new jobs, such as skilled maintenance workers. The renovation of buildings has already had a positive impact on energy efficiency, but it must be undertaken in the poorest areas. Mr. HODSON believes that this can be achieved by integrating energy renovation every time large scale intervention is carried out on buildings. As he explained, article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, which will be reinforced by the review proposed by the Commission in the “Clean Energy for all” package, is the driver for the speed of the renovation.
MEP Theresa GRIFFIN then turned to the audience for questions. Dr. Dario CHELLO, Head of office for ENEA (Italian national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development) asked the first question. He agreed with panelists that the “Clean Energy for all” package brings a new perspective by making the consumer a central actor of the energy market. He asked whether this new package would be implemented quickly, considering that the third energy package has not yet been transposed by every Member State. He further stated that the energy market must still overcome market failures and that consumers’ rights are not yet receiving all the attention they deserve. Paul HODSON, explained that the need for a quicker transposition was understood by the Parliament. Justin WILKES added that, although a few communications of the European Commission over the past years tried to put the consumers at the center of the energy regulation, he believes that the new proposals do allow more consideration for the consumer. Luca BERTALOT, Secretary General of the EMF-ECBC (European Mortgage Federation-European Covered Bond Council) explained that the EU must be ready to support the lending capacity of banks in order to enable them to help implement energy efficiency measures. Adrian JOYCE, Secretary General of EuroACE, intervened on the Smart Electric Project in Lyon: he asked for further information on the recruitment process for the households involved, and their level of commitment through the entire duration of the project. As Sylvie PERRIN, Head of the project explained, several waves of recruitment were conducted by sending a letter to potential participants. If they did not wish to participate, the household had to answer and if no answer was received they were included by default. The level of involvement was high but required close follow-up.
On December 10, MEP Burkhard Balz, Vice-Chair of the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament, hosted a breakfast debate on how policy impacts growing companies in partnership with Invest Europe and the Invest Week, in the presence of Frédéric Mazzella, co-founder and CEO of major European success story, carpooling service, BlaBlaCar, and David Rubenstein, world-renowned investor, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, as well as Members of the European Parliament, including Dominique Riquet, Chair of the intergroup, officials from the European Commission, and representatives of the industrial and the financial sector and of the civil society.
Burkhard Balz MEP, Vice-Chair of the Long Term Investment Intergroup
David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group
Frédéric Mazzella, founder of BlaBlaCar
Dr. Bert Van Roosebeke, researcher from the Centre for European Policy
Michael Collins, CEO of Invest Europe, the association for private equity, venture capital and infrastructure investors
Alexander Schindler, President of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA)
Niall Bohan, Head of Unit for the Capital Markets Union at the European Commission’s DG FISMA
World-renowned investor, David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, and Frédéric Mazzella, founder of a major European success story, the carpooling service BlaBlaCar, were special guests at this debate on Europe’s approach on how policy impacts Europe’s growing companies, hosted by Invest Europe and the European Parliament’s crossparty Long-Term Investment Intergroup. They discussed the issues with MEPs, including Burkhard Balz, Commission officials, companies and academics.
The EU urgently needs to address its long term investment funding gap, with alternative investment such as private equity and venture capital
The EU is suffering from a lack of funding for infrastructure, the energy transition and the scaling-up of start-ups.
Getting rid of regulatory barriers is a must to attract long term investment into the EU.
MEP Burkhard Balz opened by stressing that the EU urgently needs more private investment and to leverage finance to encourage start-up development. Building on this, Invest Europe CEO Michael Collins said that the US raises five times more than the EU does in venture capital and that it is important to make things easier for long term investors by getting rid of regulatory disincentives.
David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, said that “it would be helpful if Europe had rules that make it possible for global firms to raise capital in Europe”, citing issues with private placement in some member states. He added that it would be good for Europe if it were easier to raise capital, invest capital and deliver returns to investors. Whilst conceding that “this is not easy to do”, he concluded that if this could be achieved, Europe “would be an even more significant economy in the 21st century”.
For Frédéric Mazzella, founder of the carpooling service BlaBlaCar, “growing a company in the US is like a 100 metre race while in Europe it is like running the 110 metres hurdles race” as “you have to adapt your business to different rules – different VAT, different currencies, different languages”. “Each time it is like creating a new company. I’m in favour of a more unified regulatory environment especially for digital companies that need to reach scale fast. Adapting a product to 28 markets slows us down,” he said.
Alexander Schindler, President of the European Fund and Asset Management Association, argued that Europe urgently needs to harmonise its regulatory environment and its capital markets. He cited the different information requirements of national authorities as a difficulty to be surmounted and the importance of financial education of its citizens.
Niall Bohan, the Head of Unit for the Capital Markets Union at the European Commission’s DG FISMA, said that “funding long term investment is becoming an existential crisis”. He said Europe has an “Achilles heel” in terms of meeting the demand for capital to scale up and expand small companies, which create two thirds of jobs in the EU, and referenced the Commission’s drive to create a venture capital fund of funds to draw private capital back into Europe.
Transport infrastructure projects must be well prepared, with a clear socio-economic return
BRUSSELS – 13 October 2016 – In order for transport infrastructure projects to be successful in the future, a number of improvements need to occur, according to the partners taking part in the European Parliament’s long-term investment intergroup conference.
In an exchange of views at the conference which took place today and focussed on the transport infrastructure pipeline in Europe, the partners agreed that project preparation must be improved, and that the visibility of the projects should be increased via project portals.
The discussion revealed where the existing project preparation practices may be improved, in tune with the emphasis that the World Bank, IMF and MDBs placed on this topic during the annual meetings in Washington, DC last week (IISS Project Assessment Tool). Investment portals should afford a greater visibility of infrastructure projects and the investment environment should benefit from more transparent rules. Available resources should be deployed prioritizing infrastructure developments that create jobs and growth.
Dominique Riquet, President of the Intergroup, said “A good transport project should: be useful from the infrastructure point of view, provide a quality service, fundable by all the parties, generate fair revenues and improve competitiveness of the concerned area.”
European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said that “the objective of the Commission’s Investment Plan is to boost project pipeline, to attract private investors, and to remove barriers for investments. A good transportation project must generate revenues, but also demonstrate a social and economic value as well as a firm political will to contribute to decarbonisation.”
Olav Jones, deputy director general of Insurance Europe, said: “As the largest institutional investors, Europe’s insurers welcome the significant political focus placed over the past two years on infrastructure investment. In particular, the industry welcomed initiatives to increase the supply of suitable infrastructure assets, and supported work by policymakers to address regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment, such as its treatment under Solvency II. Insurance Europe hopes that these policy efforts will continue in a positive direction for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.”
Eugene Zhuchenko, Executive Director of the Long Term Infrastructure Investors Association, said “Private investors are looking for a deeper pipeline of infrastructure projects in Europe. We welcome contributions from today’s dialogue to setting better project definition standards, building sponsor’s capacity to develop new projects and implementing frameworks that crowd in more of the private capital”
Marie-Laure Mazaud, Executive Director in charge of Transportation Sector & Development at Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), pointed out that “the recent transposition of the new EU directives on public procurement and concessions in the French regulation constitutes a particularly rich and complete toolbox allowing the local authorities to fund their investment projects in optimal conditions, including PPPs. This framework offers all the guarantees and ingredients necessary to implement win-win projects for both the public and the private sectors, while financial resources have never been more abundant and attractive. CDC will support this trend and mobilize its engineering expertise to structure and finance such projects through equity investments and loans”.
Jean-Louis Marchand, FIEC President, concluded “The Investment Plan for Europe needs to reach the regions if we want it to be successful. For this purpose, the visibility of infrastructure projects at the regional scale should be strengthened. The creation of portals of regional projects, that could be part of the European investment project portal (EIPP), can be a response to these needs.”
The Intergroup is designed to support and promote the issue of long-term investment in perspective of future legislative work. Its creation followed a campaign conducted by organizations from the public and private financial spheres and contributors to the real economy. Three major national promotional banks and institutions, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Group Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and KfW Bankengruppe, have played a particularly active role. The intergroup is chaired by Dominique Riquet (ALDE-FR), Simona Bonafé (S&D-IT), Adina-Ioana Valean (PPE-RO) and Burkhard Balz (PPE-DE). Currently, the Intergroup has reached 80 members has received the support of some 50 professional federations and stakeholders.
About the partners:
FIEC is the European Construction Industry Federation, representing via its 29 National Member Federations in 26 countries (23 EU & EFTA and Turkey) construction enterprises of all sizes, i.e. small and medium-sized enterprises as well as “global players”, carrying out all forms of building and civil engineering activities.
Founded in 2014, the Long Term Infrastructure Investors Association (LTIIA) gathers investors that collectively manage in excess of 5 trillion dollars of assets and that include some of the most active investors globally in the field of long term investment in infrastructure. The Association’s three key priorities at the core of its action: (i) proactive engagement with public stakeholders to support attractive investment frameworks, (ii) development of financial performance benchmarks, and (iii) definition and sharing of best practices in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance issues. See www.ltiia.org for more information.
Insurance Europe is the European insurance and reinsurance federation. Through its 34 member bodies — the national insurance associations — Insurance Europe represents all types of insurance and reinsurance undertakings, eg pan-European companies, monoliners, mutuals and SMEs. Insurance Europe, which is based in Brussels, represents undertakings that account for around 95% of total European premium income. Insurance makes a major contribution to Europe’s economic growth and development. European insurers generate premium income of €1 200bn, directly employ over 975 000 people and invest nearly €9 800bn in the economy.
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) is designated by the French law as a long-term investor and a public group dedicated to promoting the general interest and the national economic development. With a balance sheet of €156bn, the Caisse des Dépôts Group provides in particular financial support for infrastructures projects and, through its subsidiary Bpifrance, to enterprises. CDC also manages assets on behalf of the French State, notably the savings funds for €260bn. For almost 200 years, it has never failed in its mission, whatever the economic situation, thanks to proven know-how: an excellent awareness of local issues, a capacity to construct links between the public and private sectors, to create innovative solutions which respond to collective needs. At European level, CDC is one of the core sponsors of the Marguerite Fund, which provides financing to projects in the field of energy and transport infrastructures as well as renewable energy and fight against climate change.
As part of the European Week of Regions and Cities (Open Days), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will host a workshop on overcoming obstacles to investment, on October 12. Markku Markkula, President of the CoR, will discuss with representatives of the OECD, think-tanks and academia on how to boost long-term investments most conducive to innovation, productivity and growth, the local and regional authorities need fresh financial resources, to be seen as partners by their national governments and to improve their administrative capacity.
On July 22, 11 MEPs from the long-term investment Intergroup wrote to Vice-President Dombrovskis to call for the Commission’s opposition to the Basel Committee proposal to increase the Risk Weighted Assets for specialized lending and infrastructure financing.
On September 21, They received an encouraging reply of VP Dombrovskis, who confirms that “the Commission is considering creating, as part of the forthcoming CRR/CRD review, a special asset class and the associated criteria for less risky bank lending to infrastructure projects which could benefit from reduced capital requirements“.
On 4 October, the international economic policy think tank Bruegel will organise an event on the potential impediments to long-term investment in the EU. Various factors such as accounting rules, market failures, prudential regulation and fiscal disincentives can discourage long-term investment. As stated by Grégory Claeys, Research Fellow at Bruegel, “this can be problematic because long-term potential growth of advanced economies like Europe relies mainly on productivity gains which are derived from investments in innovation, infrastructures, human capital and knowledge“. A panel discussion featuring Sophie Barbier Director for European Affairs at Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Miguel Gil-Tertre, member of the Cabinet of Vice-President Katainen, Sandra Rigot, Professor at Paris 13 University and Edoardo Reviglio, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti’s Chief Economist, will be followed by a Q&A with the audience chaired by Grégory Claeys.
On June 28, the Long-term investment and reindustrialisation Intergroup of the European Parliament held a conference on the follow-up of the Juncker Plan in the presence of more than 200 participants, including Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), officials from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as representatives of the industrial and the financial sector, regional development banks and representatives of the civil society.
As of 16:30 Welcome and registration
17:00 Welcome Address
Dominique RIQUET, MEP, Chair of the Long Term Investment Intergroup
Jacques DE LAROSIERE, Former Governor of the Banque de France, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Honorary President of Eurofi
Jyrki KATAINEN, Vice-President of the European Commission for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
18:00 2 Case studies
Raphael LANCE, Head of Renewable Funds at Mirova, on the Langmarken onshore wind farm located in Värmland County, Sweden
Giulia GREGORI, Strategic Planning Manager at Novamont, on the development of an integrated supply chain in the field of biochemicals and bioplastics, Italy
18:15 Additionnality – risk is good!
Moderator Simona BONAFE, MEP, Vice-Chair of the Long Term Investment Intergroup
Klaus TRÖMEL, Secretary General, European Investment Bank
Lutz-Christian FUNKE, Senior Vice-President, Managing Affairs and Communication, KfW Bankengruppe
Antonella BALDINO, Head of Development Finance. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti
Benjamin ANGEL, Director for Treasury and financial operations, Dg Ecfin, European Commission & Member of the EFSI Steering board
Laurence MONNIER, Head of infrastructure debt, Aviva
19:20 Investment platforms – small is beautiful…
Moderator Adina-Ioana VALEAN, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Long Term Investment intergroup
Laurent ZYLBERBERG, Director of Institutional, International and European Relations, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations & Chairman of the Management board, Marguerite Fund
Klaus TRÖMEL, Secretary General, European Investment Bank
Wilhelm MOLTERER, Managing Director of the European Fund for Strategic Investments
Joanne SEGARS, Chief Executive of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, former Chair of PensionsEurope
20:20 Closing remarks
Introduction by Burkhard BALZ, MEP, Vice–Chair of the Long Term Investment Intergroup
Markku MARKKULA, President of the European Committee of the Regions
As of 20:40 Cocktail
On February 17, the long-term investment and reindustrialisation intergroup of the European Parliament held a conference with over 200 participants on long-term investment in relation with climate change, taking stock of what has been achieved and what still needs to be done after the COP21.
In his introduction, MEP and intergroup President Dominique Riquet pointed out that “our main issue relates to how we can mobilize the financial sector to operate the low carbon transition. Regulators shall use all their fiscal, budgetary (i.e Juncker Plan or financing the “Plan Energies pour l’Afrique”) and normative tools at their disposal to meet this challenge. Sustainable might mean profitable”. French economist Michel Aglietta stressed that “Climate challenge is not a matter of tonnes of carbon”, but that it “cannot be met independently from other challenges such as anemic growth, unemployment, financial instability and rising inequalities”. He proposed that “Europe shall rebuild a political endeavor by proposing to the world a Marshall plan for Climate, to break away from the threat of secular stagnation”. Former French Minister for Ecology, Energy and Sustainable development Jean-Louis Borloo stated that “we need a Marshall Plan to electrify Africa. We invite Europe to elaborate a Juncker Plan II on extra-EU investments with a focus on Africa.”
As moderator of the roundtable on financing the transition towards a lower carbon economy, MEP Gilles Pargneaux said that “After the success of the Climate summit in Paris, we have a clear path for a low-carbon economy. It’s time to deliver now. Private companies are major actors to this paradigmatic shift as well as public institutions which must, at least, set aside 100 billion dollars a year as of 2020.” Kjetil Tonning, Vice-President of FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation, pointed out that “the construction industry can provide the solutions for the climate change challenges. The biggest contribution we can make to a lower carbon economy is the reduction of emissions from buildings by reducing their energy consumption.” Philippe Méchet, Senior executive Vice-President of EDF, said that “EDF is the electricity provider with the lowest carbon emissions in Europe and aims at being the champion of low-carbon growth. Strongly committed to the Energy transition, we believe the priority now must be to restore very rapidly a significant CO2 price in order to make the transition happen”.
“In the fight against global warming, we all face the same problems, but local contexts largely differ in economic, social and legal terms. Municipalities in Europe require adjusted mechanisms to develop bankable projects in energy efficiency, renewables and clean transport to advance in the implementation of the Paris climate agreement’ declared Kata Tutto, member of the Committee of the Regions. Benjamin Quatre, Director at the French Banking Federation, said that “the best way to fight against climate change would be through tailored market financing”. He recommended in particular the introduction of “a regulatory bonus for green bonds in order to speed up the development of this market. This would be a way for Europe to stay one step ahead in this area”.
In his final remarks, Dominique Ristori, Director General for Energy at the European Commission, declared that “energy will play a crucial role in implementing the COP21 deal, while offering a tremendous opportunity to position European energy companies in the lead of the new global market for clean energy technologies. To make it happen, we need to reinforce the bridge between investors and project promoters all around Europe.” Finally, he concluded by stating that “2016 will be a key year of delivery of the Energy Union in order to achieve a secure, sustainable and competitive energy”.
Background information : The Intergroup is designed to support and promote the issue of long-term investment in perspective of future legislative work. Its creation followed a campaign conducted by organizations from the public and private financial spheres and contributors to the real economy. Three major national promotional banks and institutions, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Group Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and KfW Bankengruppe, have played a particularly active role. The intergroup is chaired by Dominique Riquet (ALDE-FR), Simona Bonafé (S&D-IT), Adina-Ioana Valean (PPE-RO) and Burkhard Balz (PPE-DE). Currently, the Intergroup has reached 80 members has received the support of some forty professional federations and stakeholders. Today’s conference has been organised with the contribution of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), the French Banking Federation (FBF), Electricité de France (EDF) and the Caisse des Dépôts Group (CDC).