After its first year of operation, the Clean Oceans Initiative has provided more than EUR 700 million long-term financing for projects to reduce and recycle marine litter and waste collected on land, especially plastics and untreated wastewater discharge. The goal of the initiative is to finance €2 billion in public and private sector projects over five years.
Projects supported so far include improved sanitation in Ratmalana and Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, Solid waste management in Lomé, Togo, stormwater management and flooding in Cotonou, Benin, Water and sanitation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, wastewater management in Cape Town, South Africa, and green urban financing and innovation in the Yangtze River Delta in China.
The Clean Oceans Initiative identifies projects that fight plastic waste in rivers, seas and on land, with a particular focus on riverine and coastal areas in developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This is because a significant amount of plastic waste entering the oceans comes from ten major river systems located in Africa and Asia, which lack access to regular waste collection and controlled waste disposal systems, as well as adequate wastewater and stormwater management systems.
AFD Chief Executive officer Rémy Rioux said: “From Sri Lanka to Togo to Argentina, the Clean Oceans Initiative is proving tremendously effective in raising awareness on marine pollution and the importance of healthy oceans in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 14. Since it was launched conjointly by EIB, KfW Group, and AFD Group, only one year ago, the initiative has already delivered tangible results, including by reducing anthropic pressures on the ocean. This success shows how impactful and central to development partnerships are, which only further encourages all development stakeholders to raise their ambition and continue to preserve our oceans in common.”
EIB President Dr. Werner Hoyer said: “We will not solve the global climate and environment crisis without protecting and cleaning up the world’s oceans. To achieve this, partnership is key. That is why we are working with KfW and AFD, as well as governments, cities and the private sector, to finance projects that support the health of our oceans. We are very pleased with the progress achieved during the first year of the Clean Oceans Initiative and welcome ICO´s commitment to join the initiative. This is a real success story and sends the strong message that European development finance institutions are working effectively together to address global challenges and to strengthen Europe’s leadership on climate action around the world”.
KfW CEO Dr. Günther Bräunig said: “The promising progress and the significant contribution to the preservation of the oceans are obvious and show us, that we are on the right track. But we would like to go even further and draw the attention also to the Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE), launched in July by various European partners. It goes beyond recycling and starts already at the beginning of circular value chains within the EU with total financings of EUR 10 billion. Hence, COI and JICE may be considered as complementary initiatives with the common target to significantly reduce the threats to the environment and to the oceans caused by excessive waste consumption, in particular plastic waste. The motto is: prevent, reuse, recycle!”
EIB is the lending institution of the European Union. It is active in around 160 countries and is a leader in climate finance. It has committed to financing $100 billion for climate action from 2016 to 2020. More than 25% of its financing supports the climate.
KfW is one of the world’s leading promotional banks. Acting on behalf of the German federal government, KfW has been improving economic, social and ecological living conditions around the world since 1948. It provided €75.5 billion in financing in 2018. Of this total, 40% was spent to protect the climate and the environment. KfW has about 80 offices and representations worldwide.