In 2009, when the GroenLinks were part of the governing coalition, the city of Amsterdam sold its shares in energy company NUON. With €100m from the sale, the city created an investment fund (AIF) for climate, sustainability and air quality initiatives. These initiatives are focused on the reduction of CO2 emission, reduction of energy use and a healthy environment. Citizens, corporations and organisations can apply for the fund. In September 2014, the city of Amsterdam won a Climate Leadership Award for this fund.
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The AIF provides funding (soft loans, warranties and equity) rather than subsidies, to sustainable and profitable projects. Projects are evaluated based on estimated environmental effect per Euro and the amount of co-investment involved. For example, the city funded over 1,600 solar panels on the RAI convention centre (delivering energy for 140 households and reducing CO2 emission by 150 tons), provided workspaces for artists (so called ‘broedplaatsen’), providing schools with solar panels, and offering cheap loans for homeowners to invest in insulation to reduce energy usage.
In 2010, the Fund’s investments helped Amsterdam achieve 20% emissions reduction compared to 1990 levels. It is projected to contribute to Amsterdam’s C02 reduction by 40% in 2025 compared to 1990.