Both partners will contribute €150m each to create the facility which is available to clients with “significant European interests”. It is promised that sponsors can benefit from “advantageous financial terms”.

The facility has been created for projects that reduce the carbon footprint and increase fuel efficiency of vessels. It covers the construction of new ships or retrofitting of existing vessels, and will be led by ING’s shipping team.

ING’s head of wholesale banking Isabel Fernandez said: “Sustainability is an important strategic priority for ING and we are very proud to partner with the EIB to encourage our shipping clients to think about more green and sustainable financing options.

“This agreement helps us support our shipping clients into making changes to their business models by adapting for the future in increasingly sustainable way, and supports them throughout their green journey.”

Sailing ahead

Accountable for around 3-4% of global emissions, the shipping industry has been criticised over its slow progress to unanimously agree on a binding climate deal, after it was left out of negotiations during the Paris Agreement talks.

Since then, the industry’s overseeing body – The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) – has approved a roadmap through to 2023 on the global adoption on an emissions reduction strategy, which is scheduled to come into force in 2018.

“I think it’s no secret that the shipping sector is a major contributor to CO2 emissions,” said EIB’s president Werner Hoyer. “Climate action is one of the EIB’s top priorities, and this type of financing should be seen as an incentive for ship owners to consider doing things differently.”

ING has a long history of pioneering new approaches to green finance, including agreeing a €1bn loan with Philips that has an interest rate dependent on the year-to-year progress of the global lighting firm’s sustainability performance.

Just last month, the Dutch multinational launched a €100m Sustainable Investments fund to help start-ups and innovative new business models scale up concepts and projects tailored for energy, water and resource efficiency.

George Ogleby

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