07 April 2017
The European Commission and leading International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are on a joint mission in Tunis to agree policy priorities and sustainable investment solutions for energy efficiency. The joint mission is part of wider efforts to increase support for energy efficiency policies and investments in buildings in the EU's enlargement and neighbourhood regions. Four pilot countries have been selected: Tunisia, Georgia, Ukraine and Serbia. The initiative aims to move away from individual projects to a comprehensive approach that supports concrete policy actions and scales up sustainable investments. After concluding missions in all selected countries, the European Commission together IFIs will identify priority areas for support of energy efficiency measures in buildings, public and private.
Speaking in Tunis, Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Katarina Mathernova noted: “I am delighted to visit Tunisia and I appreciate that the Government of Tunisia is strongly committed to implement needed structural reforms to boost Tunisian economy. The EU stands by the Government in these efforts. We today focused in particular on energy efficiency as it is a key sector for sustainable development and inclusive growth. This sector can have a considerable impact on the economy and can lead to job-creation. Mobilising EU and International financial institutions support for this sector would significantly improve energy efficiency in buildings and, ultimately, living standards of the Tunisian people and its economy.”
EIB Director for operations in the Neighbourhood Countries Mr Heinz Olbers underlined: “Energy efficiency is one of the most cost effective ways to enhance security of supply while reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants. The EIB supports the transition to a low-carbon, environmental friendly and climate-resilient economy and commits at least 25% of its lending portfolio to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth. In energy efficiency alone, lending has more than tripled in the last five years, reaching EUR 3.6 billion in 2016. Last year we provided EUR 46.5m to the Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz for supporting the extension and enhancing the efficiency of the existing electricity distribution network. And we are looking forward to finance more projects in Tunisia.”