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EBRD green financing hits 36 percent of total investments in 2018

By Vanora Bennett

  • EBRD green financing in 2018 reaches 36 per cent of total business volume
  • Green Cities programme quadrupled to almost €1 billion
  • New Energy Sector Strategy ends investments in coal

The EBRD continues its leading role in green financing and devoted 36 per cent of its total investments in 2018 to the green economy. The Bank is well on the way to meeting a target of dedicating a 40 percent share of investments to the green economy by 2020.

It underscored its green credentials with the launch of a new energy strategy that pledges to scale up investment in renewables, completely rule out financing for coal and restrict financing in upstream oil to exceptional projects, which reduce harmful greenhouse gases.

The EBRD also quadrupled the size of its Green Cities programme in support of environmentally friendly municipal investments to almost €1 billion.

Cities represent one of the greatest opportunities to address climate change and environmental degradation, since they account for 70 per cent of energy use and 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

The EBRD Green Cities programme addresses challenges that are particularly urgent in the regions where the Bank operates. In many cases, obsolete urban infrastructure is severely affecting the quality of life of citizens, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and preventing communities from adapting to climate change.

EBRD Green Cities grew in 2018 after a first €250 million of funding, designed to last five years, was mostly committed within just two years. In October, the EBRD approved a further €700 million of funding, expanding the number of cities that can be supported.

The EBRD’s Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), which supports businesses and homeowners wishing to invest in green technologies, launched the Technology Catalogue, an online shopping-style platform designed to make it easier for vendors of green technologies to connect with customers. The initiative’s objective is to encourage technology manufacturers and local vendors to make climate technologies more readily available on the ground.

The Bank overcame significant economic challenges in a number of countries to maintain an excellent level of investment and backing for reforms in 2018. It financed 395 projects worth a total of €9.5 billion, very close to the 2017 record of €9.7 billion. For 2019, the EBRD set ambitious goals in support of the global development agenda, with climate finance a major component.

At its Annual Meeting in Jordan in May 2018, EBRD shareholders asked the Bank to do even more with existing capital to increase investments in existing countries to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals the international community has pledged to deliver by 2030.

The EBRD responded with a plan that sees the Bank making an even greater impact in its regions. EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti told Bank staff this week the EBRD would raise both the quality and the quantity of its investments over the next two years. He was confident the Bank would achieve these ambitious goals.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, in May in Sarajevo, shareholders will decide whether to investigate possible further expansion outside the current regions of activity.

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