October 23, 2018

EIB, Government Partners Launch Initiative to Clean up Oceans

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

12 October 2018: The Agence Française de Developpement (AFD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and KfW Group, on behalf of the Government of Germany, launched the Clean Oceans Initiative. The five-year initiative will support the development and implementation of sustainable projects to reduce pollution, particularly plastics, in the world’s oceans.

The three partners will provide €2 billion in long-term financing for projects to reduce marine litter, especially plastics, as well as untreated wastewater discharge. Projects will focus on four key areas: collection, pre-treatment and recycling of waste, particularly plastic, collected on land and from rivers and the ocean; improved waste management in harbors and ports to reduce marine litter from ships; and implementation of wastewater treatment plants to support reduction of plastics and other pollutants in rivers and oceans. The projects will finance the collection, sorting and recycling of waste before it reaches rivers and streams.

According to EIB, 90% of plastic waste enters the ocean through ten major river systems in Africa and Asia. These regions face challenges in access to regular waste collection, and have limited waste disposal control. Consequently, the Clean Ocean Initiative will focus on projects in coastal and riverine areas in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The Clean Oceans Initiative will contribute to developing innovative solutions to clean the oceans for future generations.

In statements on the Initiative, the three partners all underscored the importance of a coordinated and targeted international response to protect the oceans from pollution, especially plastic pollution. They underscored the Clean Ocean Initiative’s aim to support achievement of the SDGs, particularly SDG 14 (life below water). AFD CEO Rémy Rioux highlighted the importance of developing “new and courageous ways to ensure that the oceans are safe from pollution and irreversible degradation,” and called for additional commitments to protect the world’s oceans.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said the three partners have previously collaborated on projects to reduce marine litter and the discharge of untreated wastewater, and emphasized that the Clean Oceans Initiative will allow them to scale up their efforts and contribute to “crowding in private sector investments, developing innovative solutions to clean the oceans for future generations.” KfW CEO Günther Bräunig explained that the German federal government intends to embed the 17 SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change in its sustainability strategy, and that protecting the ocean’s will be a key goal in its sustainability model.

AFD, EIB and KfW announced the Initiative in advance of the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group.