EBRD President stresses importance of energy efficiency in post-Paris climate challenge

By Anthony Williams

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Sir Suma Chakrabarti highlights EBRD’s progress in field of green finance

The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti,  today emphasised the importance of energy efficiency investments in the global response to the challenge of climate change.

He was speaking at the 2016 Summit of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, a forum that brings together key leaders and experts who help map out the road to a sustainable future with a focus on the financing needed to deliver it.

There is a particular focus on climate finance this year in order to achieve the goals mapped out in last year’s historic Paris Climate Agreement.

In his speech, Sir Suma, who is a member of the Global Commission, also highlighted the EBRD’s own progress in addressing the challenges of green finance and called for greater cooperation among multilateral development banks (MDBs) in responding to the global climate challenge.

Calling for a shift in the climate response, the EBRD President said that the scaling up of renewable energy financing had not been matched in terms of energy efficiency.

He referred to International Energy Agency analysis showing that energy efficiency accounts for more than half the potential carbon emissions reduction needed in order to keep to the two degree global warming trajectory by 2030.  

“Energy efficiency can deliver significant results and climate action in the short to medium term, with significant investments from the private sector as required technologies already exist and financial returns are often positive, even in the current context of low oil prices,” Sir Suma said.

The EBRD outlined its own plans for climate finance ahead of the Paris Agreement with the launch of its Green Economy Transition approach which aims to increase the share of green financing to 40 per cent of the Bank’s annual investment by 2020.

In his remarks, the EBRD President noted that all of the MDBs had made commitments to significantly boost climate financing in Paris.

However, he added that he would like to see the EBRD and all the other banks responding more nimbly to the challenges they face. It was also important to make the best possible use of each bank's expertise and to attract private sector investment in even larger volumes than so far.

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