Laurence Boone, who is responsible for Europe in the government, has signed EIB financing for construction equipment rental company Loxam. The opportunity to emphasize the positive impact of European measures on the daily life of the French.
Show Europe in what it has concrete. This was the idea of a trip by the Secretary of State for Europe Laurence Boone on Monday, when she came to witness the signing of a green loan of 130 million euros from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to accelerate the energy transition of the French company Loxam. For the occasion, the European leader in construction equipment rental organized a visit to its agency in Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine).
“Do you know Loxam?” asks the chairman of the Gérard Déprez group to the minister, who all come with a smile. The educated economist, passed by the OECD and former adviser to François Hollande, Laurence Boone is more used to international conferences than construction sites, but she often answers with a smile: “Of course I use your equipment every day!” A small part of Loxam’s fleet is carbon-free and runs on either electricity or hydrogen, sometimes through hybrid methods. This is the whole purpose of the loan granted by the EIB: to help companies finance their transition and, above all, to spread the word. Because this financing is one of the first in France under the brand “EIB green loan” from the program InvestEU from the European Commission.
“It is a concrete way to show what Europe is doing to reduce pollution in its cities, improve the lives of our citizenssums up Laurence Boone. This funding speaks louder than big institutional speeches where we talk about plans quantified in billions of euros. This “significant loan […] will allow us to expand our electric and hybrid fleet, knowing that today the majority of our 650,000 equipment still operates mainly on combustion,” rejoices over Loxam’s boss. I promise, it isn’t “greenwashing”, The ultimate goal is to enter into the Green Pact in Brussels to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050.
“You are now the ambassadors for the green transition”
“The advantage of electric is that, in addition to not emitting greenhouse gases, it is silent”, boasts Loxam materials director Thierry Lahuppe. The proof is in the photo: behind him, an employee handles a small digger, which does not make a noise under the impressed gaze of the small audience of officials with whom the foreign minister arrived flanked. Between the dump trucks, a light pole and a lifting platform, a large red block is placed: the Power Bank. As a portable battery for vehicles of this size. “Research is progressing, engines are getting better, but the biggest challenge we face today is charging”acknowledges Gérard Déprez as to justify the importance of funding.
Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB, also made the trip to highlight this first loan investment. “You are now the ambassadors for the green transition, especially with your customers”, he says, before congratulating himself on seeing the EIB become a climate bank on a European scale. Which it already is in France, as two-thirds of its investments there are linked to climate change. It remains to make this transition effective and not use this loan well so as not to stop at speeches. As they left Colombes, the European Commission’s representative in France, Valérie Drezet-Humez, also warned the Loxam team: “Make good use of it.”