Wallonia receives record-high loan from EU bank for climate crisis support

Wallonia receives record-high loan from EU bank for climate crisis support
Victims of flooding in Wallonia, which damaged and destroyed hundreds of social housing units. Credit: Belga

Wallonia has been given a €1.1 billion loan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance projects relating to energy efficiency, particularly in the social housing sector, and protection against floods.

The loan, which is the largest ever provided by the EIB in a single operation in Belgium, will support Wallonia in the current climate crisis, by funding projects that will both optimise its sustainability as well as protect itself against extreme weather conditions caused by global warming.

“The active front in the fight against climate change involves reducing the carbon footprint of the social housing sector. It also requires adaptation and anticipation in the face of the risk of disasters like those we saw last summer, performing numerous works to reinforce river banks,” EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters said.

“We will provide the financing needed to make these high priority investments quickly. We must work together to overcome the challenge of the century and preserve our planet for future generations.”

The bank’s commitments are expected to be translated in financial agreements and to be signed by the EIB teams and the Walloon Region before the end of the year.

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In addition to this funding from the EIB, the Walloon government is also providing financial assistance totalling €25 million for social housing companies, as the floods not only resulted in dozens of deaths and billions of euros worth of damage, it also affected almost 1,500 social housing units, 231 of which were completely destroyed and 441 severely damaged.

The aim is to help these companies find rehousing solutions for the tenants affected by the floods, of which €15 million will be made available immediately, while the rest will be released when needed.

At the beginning of his legislature, Wallonia’s Housing Minister Christophe Colignon also announced the energy renovation plan for 26,000 public housing units, an investment of €1.2 billion euros.

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