The current report on Austria's international climate finance once again names OeEB as the largest contributor. 48% of all contributions were provided by OeEB in 2019.
International climate finance is a key element in supporting developing countries in fighting climate change. The current report on international climate finance published by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) once again names OeEB as the largest contributor. EUR 167,83 – i.e. 48% of Austria's total contribution – was provided by OeEB in 2019. The Austrian contribution to international climate finance doubled in the years from 2015 to 2019 from around EUR 170 to more than EUR 346 million. The Federal Ministry cites "the increasing commitment of OeEB in the field of climate protection" as one of the main reasons for this.
"We are very pleased about this recognition of our work and will continue on our path with undiminished vigour. Despite the current Covid-19 crisis, the issue of climate protection must not move into the back seat. Developing countries are hit particularly hard by the consequences of climate change. Promoting clean energy and making a positive contribution to climate protection will therefore remain a central focus in our work. With our services and know-how we can contribute to reaching Austria's climate finance goals efficiently and effectively and aim to remain Austria's largest contributor to international climate finance," explain OeEB's board members, Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata.
Increased commitment to more transparency and zero emissions
To underline its commitment to climate protection, OeEB recently became one of the first Austrian companies to sign the TCFD recommendations. The TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) was founded by the International Financial Stability Board. Its voluntary recommendations for standardised climate reporting are implemented by companies worldwide.
In addition, in a joint statement by 15 European development banks, OeEB committed to aligning its financing decisions even more closely with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. New coal or oil financing will be ceased immediately. Other fossil fuels, such as selective investments in gas-fired power generation, will be limited to financing consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement until they are generally excluded by 2030. By 2050 at the latest, the portfolios of the development banks should achieve net zero emissions.
"We want to set an example for investors in developing countries and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris Climate Agreement. As the largest Austrian provider of international climate finance, we are determined to build on our strong track record, enable sustainable development, set ourselves ambitious goals and report on our progress," explain OeEB board members Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata.
Economic growth needs climate protection
OeEB has been contributing to sustainable growth and economic development for twelve years. Promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries is one of its main goals. At the end of 2019, EUR 549 million – around 40 percent of OeEB’s project portfolio – was invested in climate-related projects.
One example is the SIMA Off-grid Solar and Financial Access Fund, in which OeEB invested USD 9.5 million in June 2019. The fund enables people in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to access clean energy through off-grid solar solutions, which range from simple solar lamps to stand-alone mini power grids, thus creating an essential