EBRD Head sets out plan for resilient, “majority green” future

By Anthony Williams

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is embarking on a path to a sustainable, “majority green” future as it prepares to guide its regions to a robust recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the opening of the EBRD’s Annual Meeting, Acting President Jürgen Rigterink said the Bank’s immediate priority was to help the economies where it invests recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.

“We also have to move even faster towards a more resilient and more sustainable future,” he said, as the Bank’s Board of Governors, which represents the Bank’s 71 shareholders, prepared to review the EBRD’s strategy for the next five years.

Under the proposed new strategy, on which shareholders will decide today, the EBRD will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. “Green finance will be the majority of our business by 2025,” Rigterink said.

The EBRD also aims to promote equality of opportunity through access to skills and employment, finance and entrepreneurship and support for women, young people and under-served communities. It will also accelerate digital transition, unleashing the power of technology to bring about change for the better.

The new strategy confirms the EBRD’s interest in a limited and incremental expansion of its activities to sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq during the next five-year period.

Governors will consider an update on this issue in 2022, reflecting guidance from the 2021 Annual Meeting.

Later on Wednesday, Governors will decide on a request from Iraq to become a shareholder of the Bank.

On Thursday, Governors will elect a new EBRD President to replace Sir Suma Chakrabarti.

Two candidates are standing for election: Polish Minister of Finance Tadeusz Kościński and Odile Renaud-Basso, Director General, French Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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