Green trade finance in a changing world

By Maria Mogilnaya

Green trade finance in a changing world

© WTO/Jay Louvion

EBRD presents its role in addressing global challenges at this year’s WTO Public Forum in Geneva

The world is facing unprecedented challenges, which require a multi-dimensional approach. Trade finance can make an important contribution by providing much-needed support for investments in, and supply of, climate change mitigation and adaption technologies as well as global technology transfer for tackling climate change. At the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Public Forum in Geneva an EBRD delegation presented how the Bank is driving this process forward.

“We are proud of our pioneering role in facilitating access to trade finance and in promoting green economies. No longer is a green economy just an environmental necessity, it also makes economic sense. With our Green Trade Facilitation Programme the EBRD can offer access to a wide-reaching and well-established network of banks for financing the cross-border supply of key green technologies”, says Francis Malige, the EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions

Under its Green Economy Transition (GET) approach the EBRD is supporting its countries of operations to build low carbon and climate resilient economies. The Bank is well on track to reach its goal to increase green financing to 40 per cent of its annual business volume by 2020. To date, the EBRD has signed €30 billion in green investments, financed over 1600 green projects and reduced over 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

The Green Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) is part of the EBRD’s trade support aiming at promoting foreign trade to, from and among the countries where it invests. Through the TFP, the EBRD provides guarantees to foreign confirming banks to mitigate risks associated with cross-border trade and extends short-term cash advances to selected banks and factoring companies in the EBRD regions for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.

The award-winning Green TFP finances and supports the introduction and use of green technologies, which often need to be imported into the EBRD regions. To date, the EBRD has supported more than €425 million in green trade financing. Almost 600 Green TFP transactions have been financed in 15 EBRD countries of operations, resulting in annual energy savings of 733,130 MWh, water savings of 1,618,025 m3 and emission reductions of 310,728 tonnes CO2 equivalent.

These efforts, which can be replicated in other regions, should ultimately result in better adaptation to climate change and faster transition to low carbon economy.

A special emphasis at the WTO Public Forum this year is dedicated to the role environmentally conscious Millennials and representatives of the so-called Generation Z can play in addressing the challenges ahead. They are key to shaping the future of global trade and to mainstreaming and expanding trade in green technologies.

The WTO is the only global international organisation dealing with the rules of trade between nations. Its Public Forum is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event, providing a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system. The EBRD regularly participates in the WTO Public Forums and contributes to the Aid for Trade Global Reviews.