EBRD 30th Annual Meeting to boost green transition

By Richard Porter

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Ministers and leading officials will be gathering next week to take critical decisions aimed at improving the environment and economies covered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The Bank’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum takes place in the 30th anniversary year of the institution, which was formed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since 1991, it has invested €150 billion in supporting the transition to sustainable market economies.

The EBRD is moving from its emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic to providing longer-term help for countries. Many of the 38 economies in the EBRD’s regions have been hit hard by the virus.

A clear indication of the impact will emerge when the latest economic forecasts for these economies are published at a news conference on Tuesday morning, the first progress report since many began vaccinating citizens and re-opening sectors of the economy.

The news conference at 09:30am BST on 29 July will be accessible to all registered media via the Annual Meeting Virtual Attendee Hub or via a livestream.

The Bank’s Governors – representatives from each of the 71 shareholding countries (along with the EU and EIB) – will then hold talks on what next steps should be taken, and the Bank will produce more detailed proposals during the remainder of 2021. Last year the Bank committed €11 billion to Covid-19 recovery.

The Bank’s regions also face a green challenge. Many are heavily-dependent on fossil fuels for their energy, and the EBRD last year committed to becoming a majority green business during its current strategy period (2021-2025) – meaning that more than 50 per cent of its investments will be directed towards the transition to sustainable and climate-resilient economies.

Shareholders will be asked to approve a commitment to full alignment with the Paris Agreement during the Annual Meeting’s main plenary session. This would mean that all projects supported by the Bank would work towards the goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions.

This will be the first Annual Meeting since becoming President for Odile Renaud-Basso, who is the first woman to lead the Bank. She will underline the Bank’s commitment to supporting economic recovery which is not just green, but also more equal and more digital.

As well as its investment activity, the Bank also helps countries to implement more effective and sustainable policy goals. Alongside the Annual Meeting, there will be a gathering of the donors who provide funds which support this work and also enable the provision of valuable business advice to clients.

The meeting will be held in a virtual format, and includes a business forum with a series of panel discussions. Speakers including John Kerry, Mark Carney, Frans Timmermans and Dr Jane Goodall will debate and discuss the best ways to bring about changes which improve the lives among the 677 million people in the EBRD regions, and business and civic leaders will be able to take part in virtual networking sessions.

A panel of leading economists will discuss future prospects – featuring the EBRD’s Chief Economist, Beata Javorcik along with Carmen Reinhart of the World Bank and Gita Gopinath of the IMF. On the final day, Friday July 2nd, Odile Renaud-Basso will take part in a discussion with the Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, where they will talk about the challenges ahead.

Registered attendees will be able to take part in the question and answer sessions, and the public events will be streamed live online.

Ms Renaud-Basso will hold a news conference on Friday July 2nd, and all registered journalists are welcome to attend.

Please email Ksenia Yakustidi at yakustik@ebrd.com to receive the dial-in instructions for the news conference.

The full programme of the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum can be viewed here.  

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