In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria the programme has helped develop a new bus rapid transit system with new dedicated roadways, and put 17 new environmentally-friendly buses on the roads, complete with new stops and stations.

In Palma de Mallorca, EIB support is replacing 180 diesel buses with new compressed natural gas alternatives that are also longer to provide an improved service. Valencia’s urban bus fleet will be renewed with 200 hybrids replacing diesel vehicles that were over 20 years old, cutting the greenhouse gas emissions of the city’s buses by up to 35 per cent.

Barcelona also took part in this programme to acquire 254 less polluting buses that are considered safer and more modern. In addition to the financing provided to date, the EIB has approved the provision of more funds to support clean transport projects in other Spanish cities.

Emma Navarro, the EIB Vice-President, said: “We are very happy to support projects such as those financed under this programme that promote clean urban transport that improves the air quality of our cities while generating economic growth and jobs. This is an example of the EIB’s commitment to facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy in Spain and across Europe. As we announced at the recent UN Climate Action Summit, we are aiming to redouble our efforts and expand the resources we dedicate to tackling climate change and other environmental objectives, representing a key step in consolidating the EIB’s position as the EU climate bank.”

Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner, said: “In order to succeed [in] the transition to a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050, all sectors and all services need to pull in the same direction. Transport represents almost a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and is the main cause of air pollution in cities. Major investments are needed to tackle these emissions and the implementation of this program is a model example on how EIB investments drive the clean energy transition in the transport sector and directly improve the quality of life for Europeans.”