OeEB will once again be partner of the Austrian World Summit which will take place on 1 July in Vienna. As the largest Austrian provider of international climate finance, OeEB aims to invest an average of 40% of new business in climate-relevant projects by 2023 and achieve a climate-neutral portfolio by 2050 at the latest. With long-term investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, it contributes to the fight against climate change and a "green recovery" after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Developing countries are disproportionally affected by the consequences of climate change, although they themselves have contributed the least to it. More frequent weather extremes such as heat waves, droughts, floods or storms further increase the gap between poor and rich countries and hamper economic development and the way out of poverty for many people. Climate protection is therefore firmly anchored in our strategy as a cross-sector goal," explain OeEB board members Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata.
On behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, OeEB provides long-term loans and equity capital for investments that contribute to sustainable growth and economic development. In doing so, it focuses on projects in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency, alongside providing financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and private infrastructure projects in developing and emerging countries.
Around EUR 550 million invested in climate-related projects at the end of 2020
For several years in a row, OeEB has been Austria's largest contributor to international climate finance and helps secure Austria's contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement. Around one billion people in developing countries still have no access to electricity, which is essential for economic development. In order to not put additional strain on the climate, economic growth must be made as ecological as possible.
"Our projects range from solar and wind parks, which we often finance together with other development finance institutions, to small hydropower project and innovative off-grid solar solutions for people without access to the power grid," says Michael Wancata. Only recently, the construction of the first private wind power project in North Macedonia was financed together with Erste Group and local banks. The 36 MW wind farm near the village of Bogoslovec is expected to supply 15,000 households with clean energy and increase the country's energy independence and supply stability. In 2020, OeEB-financed projects in the field of renewable energy saved 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and provided more than 4 million people with clean energy.
Central role of the private sector in a "green recovery" after COVID-19
In addition to the climate crisis, developing and emerging countries have also been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore not only essential to secure jobs and liquidity in the short term, but also to invest in the economy in the long term – while making these investments as climate-friendly as possible.
Foreign direct investments in developing and emerging countries have decreased by around 40% during the Corona crisis; the public sector alone cannot cope with these challenges. Development banks provide long-term finance for private projects and can mobilize additional funds even in times of crisis. They therefore play a central role in financing the post-pandemic green recovery.
"HEALTHY PLANET - HEALTHY PEOPLE" – OeEB once again partner of the Austrian World Summit
Projects and solutions for a healthier and more sustainable world and a green recovery are also the focus of the Austrian World Summit, which will take place tomorrow in Vienna under the motto "HEALTHY PLANET - HEALTHY PEOPLE". OeEB is once again partner of the international climate conference organized by the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative.
"In order to combat climate change, all players from politics, business and finance need to come together. We all need to do our part to contribute to a healthier planet. The Austrian World Summit offers a platform for networking, for discussing current climate issues and challenges, but above all for presenting specific projects and solutions. We look forward to being part of this important conference once again," says Sabine Gaber.