The new head of the European Investment Bank told Euronews on Thursday that the institution should support farmers.
The former Spanish deputy prime minister and economy minister, who took office in early January, told Euronews’ The Global Conversation that the green transition could be at risk if there is not enough private investment.
Calviño pledged the EIB will help build investor confidence for projects in areas such as green hydrogen and battery factories.
“Companies have to think twice before undertaking some of the necessary investments,” she said. “There is a lot of uncertainty and geopolitical tensions that also limit the tolerable risk for companies. That is why the EIB plays an important role in reducing investment risk.”
“When we invest in green hydrogen or in a circular battery factory, we are really making this project possible because we bring with us other public investors, but also private investors who see the role of the bank as a very important element of de-risking, but also of technical analysis,” she says. Calviño believes that the EIB endorses “to a certain extent that this is a viable project”.
EIB must ‘support the agricultural sector’
In recent weeks thousands of farmers have been protesting in several EU countries; one of their demands is to simplify environmental rules linked to the European Green Pact.
Calviño believes the EIB should help both farmers and citizens in the ecological transition. “We need to support the agricultural sector to make the necessary investments. We need to support heavy industry to make these adjustments. We need citizens to have access to affordable green technologies if we want the process to be a success,” she argues.
The latest EIB report shows that over the past year the proportion of companies investing in energy efficiency has increased by around 10%. “What we see is that there is an increasing proportion of companies that are investing in their energy efficiency and in new technologies, and in the green transition in just one year,” she says.
But Calviño acknowledges that the key to fighting climate change is to move forward. “There is a clear understanding that there is no choice. Climate change is a real threat. It is a challenge and we have to adapt. It is less costly. It is much more efficient to invest and have an orderly transition,” he explains.
The EIB will also play a key role in the reconstruction of Ukraine, where it has already invested €2 billion in the war-torn country.