Belgium’s KBC Insurance to Support Climate Action via European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and KBC Insurance have announced a new investment partnership that will see the Belgium-based Banking and Insurance Group support up to €200 million of equity investments in sustainable infrastructure projects across Europe.

The deal, signed in Brussels, runs over “a period of at least 20 years and will focus on infrastructure projects supporting the climate transition and sustainable growth.”

KBC’s capital will be “invested alongside the existing cornerstone commitment by the European Investment Bank also managed by the EIF.”

In practice, the EIF will “manage the capital made available by KBC Insurance and select a number of top tier fund managers who will target investments in climate infrastructure projects, aligned with the climate goals of both the European Investment Bank Group and KBC, and in line with EU Taxonomy.”

The partnership with the EIF is a fit “with KBC’s approach to sustainability, as over the past years KBC Insurance has worked hard to make its investment portfolio more sustainable by gradually excluding more and more harmful investments.”

In alignment with the EIB Group’s PATH framework, KBC Insurance “no longer invests in counterparties involved in thermal coal and in other fossil fuel in general, also introducing specific ESG objectives for its investments.”

With the investment partnership with EIF, KBC Insurance wants to “take a next step by investing in sustainable projects with a climate focus amongst others in renewable energy – production, storage and distribution, energy efficiency, smart-green cities, digital and sustainable transport infrastructure.”

This partnership with KBC is considered “as a pathfinder operation for EIF, that will allow to expand its investor base to the private market in line with the objectives of the European Investment Bank Group strategy to crowd-in and catalyze third party private capital into climate and infrastructure investments.”

These additional resources will “support the European green transition objectives and closing of the infrastructure gap proving that private capital and public policy objectives can be aligned in a sustainable future.”

EIF Deputy Chief Executive Roger Havenith said:

“This agreement marks the first ever EIF investment partnership with a private player in the climate and infrastructure asset class. The EIF will choose top tier climate infrastructure fund managers to ensure that the underlying investments contribute towards the EU’s policy objective of the green transition and achieve a strong focus on climate action.”

Luc Popelier, CFO KBC Group, added:

“At KBC, we ensure that sustainability is not about empty words and promises, but rather an actual management objective and a strategic element of our organization.” 

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