EIB supports investment in Great Green Wall initiative

12th January 2021 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Creamer Media Reporter

Long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB), announced on January 11 that it aims to provide new financial and technical support to back sustainable agriculture, clean energy, water, infrastructure and private sector financing in 11 Sahel countries most vulnerable to a changing climate by 2025.

The EIB financing and technical support is said to enhance the impact of the Great Green Wall initiative to improve biodiversity in the Sahel and better tackle climate and environmental challenges facing the region.

The Great Green Wall initiative aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes and transform the lives of people living in the Sahel.

Targeted high-impact investment will enable more inclusive economic growth and strengthen resilience in the region to foster peace and stability, EIB posited.

EIB president Werner Hoyer outlined the expected strengthened engagement to back high-impact investment essential to create jobs, improve economic opportunities and increase access to clean energy and water during the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on January 11.

“Communities across the Sahel are threatened by climate change, increasingly frequent droughts and floods, and unreliable and limited access to energy, water and food. The EIB, as part of Team Europe and member of the Sahel Alliance, recognises the need to scale up investment that tackles these challenges, delivers sustainable development and improves stability in the region.

"The [EIB] is pleased to join African and international partners in ensuring that the Great Green Wall biodiversity initiative improves lives and opportunities across the Sahel.

"Looking ahead, the EIB expects to back transformational public and private sector investment in 11 Sahel States most vulnerable to climate change as part of our commitment to accelerate high-impact investment across Africa. This will complement our broader strategic engagement across Africa and 58-year record of backing transformational investment on the continent,” said Hoyer.

Future EIB investment for sustainable agriculture and environmental projects across Africa will benefit from the EIB being the first international financial institution to issue bonds to support biodiversity investment, the bank noted.

This week EIB will include biodiversity in the eligibility of the established EIB Sustainable Awareness Bonds.