The European Investment Bank and France’s Société Générale have signed a framework agreement to mobilise €150m of support for shipbuilding projects that promote “sustainable transport and environmental protection”.
The agreement is the first time the EU guarantee mechanism has been used to deliver emissions reductions from the shipping industry.
The move was backed by the French government, which hinted the deal could be followed by similar investments.
“During the CIMER (Inter-ministerial Committee for the Sea) meeting in October 2015, the government decided to implement this financial tool by agreeing to a pilot project in France,” said Alain Vidalies, French secretary of state for transport, the sea and fisheries. “What we are unveiling today is an initial illustration of this dynamic, which I hope will spread across our maritime economy, leading to similar agreements in other sectors, particularly ports.”
European commissioner for transport Violeta Bulc commented: “The maritime sector must play its part in tackling climate change,” she said. “Ten days ago, progress was made at an international level. In the near future, ships will have to emit less sulphur and efforts to cut CO2 emissions have been stepped up. This will require immediate investment, to which today’s agreement will contribute.”