In his speech during the High Level Conference on Sustainable Finance, Mr Entrecanales highlighted that “we cannot forget that Europe is competing to attract capital, up against other markets that are currently more attractive for sustainable investment. “It’s essential to capture direct investors for projects associated with a low-carbon economic model in every sector, particularly in energy”, he said.
Mr. Entrecanales spoke alongside Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and UN’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France, at the conference, organized by the European Commission in Brussels to debate its recently adopted Action Plan on Sustainable Finance.
ACCIONA’s Chairman called the Action Plan “a huge step forward”, but added: “Europe should not forget its green field investors, because we are a key element in this equation. Investing in equity, developing a project, is what is really going to make the difference.” He also indicated that right now, the risk return element for greenfield investments in Europe is not ranking very high.
Mr. Entrecanales called for measures to increase the demand for renewable energy in Europe, including support for sustainable housing, cross-border renewable energy projects and renewable power offers for small and medium sized entreprises (SMEs), in order to advance the European Union’s agenda on decarbonising the economy.
“How do we encourage house builders to develop sustainable homes? How do we make them competitive with the alternatives? We need tax incentives to steer consumers, proper carbon pricing methods, strong signals to penalise brown assets,” he said.
The Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance aims to put the EU at the forefront of international efforts to build a low-carbon economic model. It has three main objectives: to promote more investment in sustainable projects, to manage the financial risks stemming from climate change, and to strengthen the disclosure and accounting of climate risk in all economic and financial activities.
ACCIONA, the world’s greenest utility with 9GW of renewable energy in 14 countries, is developing a further 1GW of renewable capacity this year.