EBRD, IFC expand private sector tools for climate investment

By Sergiy Grytsenko

The EBRD and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, are helping local and international businesses in Turkey better plan for and adapt to growing challenges linked to climate change.

In collaboration with Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the EBRD and IFC will manage a ground-breaking year-long market study designed to give the private sector new tools to help anticipate and respond to the effects of climate change.

The initiative will work with Turkish businesses large and small to achieve climate resilience by tracking shifts in precipitation and temperature and monitoring the availability of water resources, sea-level rise, and other resource challenges.

In recent workshops held in Ankara and Istanbul hosted by business leaders from the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, government officials, IFC and EBRD representatives discussed various climate-change effects and their relation and importance to businesses, observed gaps and barriers towards adaptation, and identified opportunities related to climate investments.

“Investing in a sustainable future is a smart business decision,” said Mohsen Khalil, Global Head of IFC’s Climate Business Group. “Yes, it is about working towards the public good, but equally important, for the private sector, there is a strong financial incentive to evolve towards sustainable business models that incorporate climate risk. Investing now in climate-adaptable strategies and operations is by far less costly than having later to cope with the uncertainties of a vulnerable environment,” he added.

According to Terry McCallion, EBRD Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, there was a good start to implementation of climate change mitigation investments - including those related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“However, it is essential that long-term investment decisions and business plans start to consider the consequences of climate change. The related risks and opportunities are less well understood. Consequently, it is important for the International Financial Institutions to co-operate and work together with governments, to raise awareness in the private sector. This will be an important study in that regard,” he added.

The new joint study is the latest effort in the EBRD and IFC’s collective commitment to tackle climate change through a well-balanced approach that entails both mitigation—by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions—and adaptation, by coping with the inevitable impacts of climate change.

For the EBRD, the study’s specific adaptation focus builds on the achievements gained under the its Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) which addresses the twin challenges of energy efficiency and climate change in the transition countries of the EBRD region – one of the most energy intensive and energy wasteful in the world. Since its launch in 2006, SEI financing reached € 7.3 billion through nearly 400 projects across 29 countries.

In Turkey, the EBRD focuses on renewable and sustainable energy, small business development in the regions, agribusiness, municipal, environment and other infrastructure, and privatisation.

Since the beginning of its operations in Turkey in 2009, the EBRD has committed nearly €1 billion in about 30 projects with a total project value of around €2 billion, with 100 per cent of the projects being investments into the development of the private sector.