The EBRD’s just transition initiative aims to ensure the benefits of a green economy transition are shared, while protecting vulnerable countries, regions and people from falling behind.
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In EBRD countries, the Bank has been supporting transition towards sustainable market economies, which it now broadly defines as economies that are competitive, well-governed, green, inclusive, resilient and integrated.
The EBRD will now build on this work by linking two of these transition qualities: green (supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy and preserving the environment for future generations) and inclusive (ensuring equal opportunity for all regardless of their gender, place of birth, socioeconomic environment, age or other circumstances).
Guided by its Green Economy Transition approach and Economic Inclusion Strategy, the Bank helps its countries of operations to achieve a just transition by harnessing the power of the private sector to accelerate the transition towards sustainable and inclusive market economies.
Since 2006, cumulative EBRD green finance has reached €34 billion across more than 1,900 projects. The Bank has also financed over 100 inclusion projects worth €7 billion.
The EBRD will proactively identify investment and policy activities that can accelerate a just transition, with a focus on three priority themes:
Green economy transition: The EBRD will work with clients with high-carbon assets in the transition to a low-carbon economy. This includes targeting the reconversion of high-carbon assets, remediation and rehabilitation of land, and a range of other green investments that create access to local employment.
Supporting workers: The Bank will promote access to alternative livelihoods for those whose livelihoods are affected by the transition process through reskilling and enhancing entrepreneurship within the context of addressing underlying drivers of inequality.
Regional economic development: Emphasising activities that provide access to quality employment, including tailored support for competitive SMEs and larger firms as well as the financing of projects in sustainable infrastructure.
The EBRD’s experience of supporting economic inclusion through private sector investments and associated policy engagement to achieve structural change provides the basis for its approach to supporting vulnerable communities and workers as part of a just transition.
Further insights have emerged from a wide review of literature on the transition away from carbon-intensive sectors in other geographies. These are centred on the role of strategic planning, strong institutions and the need for a range of different interventions.
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In addition to focussing on specific investments, the EBRD will pilot targeted strategic support initiatives for a small number national and regional authorities across our regions. This targeted support, and subsequent interventions, will be guided by an assessment of transition challenges and opportunities.
In regions where just transition diagnostics already exist, the Bank will use them for guidance. These pilots will enable evidence-based policy learning to adapt the approach before it is scaled up further.
The EBRD will look to build partnerships with other stakeholders who are also working to achieve a just transition. This includes multilateral development banks, international organisations, civil society and donors.
For example, the EBRD will continue its strong partnership with the European Training Foundation and the International Labour Organization to inform the Bank’s skills programmes and policy engagements.