The EU bank has announced plans to invest in renewable energy schemes across six countries, to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and boost green technologies.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide $230 million (£148 million) to fund hydropower, solar, wind and geothermal projects in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama. It then hopes to unlock around $500 million in further investment plans thanks to a partnership with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.
EIB vice president Magdalena Álvarez Arza said, “Considerable investment is needed to harness the potential of renewable energy and more efficient energy use to reduce carbon emissions and provide energy essential for economic growth.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment in sustainable energy around the world and enabling low-carbon energy investment in Central America.”
The projects aim to reduce the countries’ dependence on fossil fuels and tackle carbon emissions by developing clean energy and energy efficiency schemes.
President of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration Nick Rischbieth commented, “We are most pleased with the expansion of our cooperation with EIB in the framework of our shared goal of promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency investments as drivers of sustainable and balanced growth in our beneficiary member countries”.
EIB has already provided €1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) for energy projects in South and Central America, including the creation of hydropower plants in Costa Rica in 2011.
The bank announced in July that it would review its energy investment policy and decided to invest only in firms that have carbon reduction measures among their strategies.