EBRD supporting drive to bring private finance to Africa’s climate challenge

By Anthony Williams

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EBRD supporting drive to bring private finance to Africa’s climate challenge

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will share its expertise in attracting private finance to the global climate challenge with banks from across Africa at an event in Casablanca, Morocco, next week.

The topic of green finance will be at the centre of a conference on 12 October organised by the EBRD and the Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE) entitled “Creating Green Banking Markets in Africa”.

The event will be an opportunity to demonstrate a unique EBRD climate finance model – its Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities (SEFFs) that have already been successfully introduced into 24 EBRD countries.

The EBRD invests to support the transition to market economies in 36 countries spanning three continents – from Mongolia in Central Asia to Morocco on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, from Estonia on the Baltic to Egypt on the Mediterranean. The Bank places a major emphasis on climate finance. 

During the Casablanca conference the EBRD and BMCE will sign the third agreement under MorSEFF, a version of the SEFF facility specifically tailored to conditions in Morocco.

With SEFFs, the EBRD makes loans to partner banks in its countries of operations which then on-lend funds to clients investing in efficient and renewable energy programmes.

The 12 October event will bring together representatives from regulatory authorities and commercial banks, particularly those from African countries, as well as from development finance institutions and donors.

“Ahead of important international climate talks in Africa next month, this is a perfect opportunity to highlight the potential to put private sector finance to work to address some of the climate challenges across the African continent,” said EBRD Managing Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, Josué Tanaka.

The EBRD invests directly in three African countries, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. However, banks from sub-Saharan Africa who are interested in using the SEFF financing model in their own countries will be able to hear from experts and practitioners.

The conference is part of the build up to the COP 22 international climate meeting in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh in November 2016 that is focused on the implementation of the historic global Climate Agreement sealed in Paris in 2015.

The EBRD/BMCE event in Casablanca will highlight climate initiatives by different players in the financial sector to support greener economies with a focus on Africa and also explore the role of regulatory authorities in facilitating an environment conducive to the growth of a green economy and the use of green financial products.

It will examine the role of commercial financial institutions in growing green finance and how development finance institutions can support them in this work. A number of financial institutions will showcase how they have successfully integrated green finance into their business operations.

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