Energy efficiency finance focus of EBRD conference in Istanbul

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca


50 financial institutions will discuss business strategies for scaling up financing for energy efficiency opportunities

When world leaders meet for the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties climate summit in December this year in Paris, energy efficiency will feature prominently as part of the global response to climate change.

Energy efficiency is one of the most economically effective means of combatting climate change and improving energy security. However, financing for energy efficiency at scale remains a major challenge.

The EBRD has long played a pioneering role in scaling up financing for energy efficiency investments in its countries of operations, particularly in the private sector. The Bank is once more taking the lead by bringing together financial institutions from around the world to discuss progress in this business area and to demonstrate the financial sector’s commitment to do more in terms of deploying energy efficiency finance.

The forum “Building a Global Energy Efficiency Financing Alliance” which the EBRD holds in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI) will take place in Istanbul on 16-17 September.

The forum will be a platform for commercial banks, including international, national, regional and microfinance institutions, to share knowledge and experience about successful business strategies for developing and marketing energy efficiency finance products.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Josué Tanaka, Managing Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change at the EBRD, said: “EBRD experience has proven that continued investment in energy efficiency makes both an important contribution towards the global climate challenge as well as clear business and economic sense.”

At the forum, participating financial institutions can also demonstrate their intent to promote energy efficiency finance by endorsing a declaration of intent to further integrate this business area into their operations.

The EBRD has invested €13 billion in energy efficiency over the past 10 years, encouraging third party investment for projects worth a total of €84 billion and estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 60 million CO2 tonnes per year.

Its Sustainable Energy Finance Facilities – EBRD products specifically designed to support local financial institutions in on-lending funds for energy efficiency investments of different clients, including SMEs, other businesses and the residential sector – have been successfully implemented in 20 countries and attract significant levels of demand. In the past nine years, local partner financial institutions have offered over 90,000 sub-loans as part of the sustainable energy financing facilities.