EBRD and GEF promote green finance together

By Lucia Sconosciuto


US$ 135 million in GEF grants expected to support US$ 1.5 billion of EBRD green finance

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) promotes green economies in all the regions where it invests. Since 2004, it has developed strong cooperation with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which has provided grants worth US$ 135 million for co-financing, technical cooperation and concessional finance to help the Bank address climate change and environmental degradation.

With the support of the GEF for projects ranging from renewable energy to energy efficiency and climate resilience, the EBRD is expected to invest up to US$ 1.5 billion to foster the transition to greener economies from Morocco to Mongolia, from Estonia to Egypt.

To guarantee the longer term impact of its investments, the Bank also promotes strong policies for sustainable development, focuses on mobilising private sector finance and builds the local capacity of stakeholders such as regulators, corporate sector, municipalities to adopt environmentally sensible standards.

The range of EBRD projects supported by GEF includes many different types, from large to small. For example the FINTECC (Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change) programme helps companies to adopt “climate technologies”. The implementation of such equipment results in saving energy, water and materials as well as in using renewable energy, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and leading to more climate resilience.

In Tajikistan, X-Fit Premium gym in the capital Dushanbe saves energy and cuts costs thanks to a FINTECC investment into solar panels, LED lightings and efficient chillers. In total, the programme has already helped to save annual CO2 emissions of about 132,000 tonnes, equivalent to taking 28,000 cars off the road.

In Romania, where most residential buildings were built between 1960 and 1990 with low thermal insulation, the EBRD and GEF are supporting a credit line to help households invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and water-saving improvements. Borrowers thorough local banks may be individual homeowners, groups, housing associations or companies providing green energy products and services. They will be able to receive free technical advice funded by GEF on low-energy solutions for complex investments.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, the EBRD and GEF helped Meest Express, a leading provider of postal and logistic services, to invest in innovations and low-carbon courier products. This includes the expansion of its network of automated collection and delivery points, the development of an IT platform and of domestic and international hubs.

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti, taking part today in the Global Environment Facility’s Assembly in Vietnam, said: “The EBRD is delighted at its long cooperation with the GEF, which has grown steadily over the past fifteen years. The EBRD’s mandate to promote green, market-based economies and its track record in mobilising private capital are firmly aligned with the GEF’s mission.

“We now look forward to delivering even more innovative projects together and catalysing greater private sector involvement to address the systemic drivers of environmental degradation in our regions.”