By Olga Rosca
More than 300,000 people living in Azerbaijan’s second-largest city could benefit from improvements in their urban environment, thanks to a partnership between the municipality and the EBRD.
Improving infrastructure and lives in Ganja was the focus of a meeting between Mayor Niyazi Bayramov and EBRD First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink in Baku, March 4, 2020.
The western Azerbaijani city expressed interest in joining EBRD Green Cities, a successful urban sustainability programme that is already helping transform 40 cities across economies where the Bank invests.
As part of the programme, the EBRD stands ready to help Ganja develop a Green City Action Plan to identify, prioritise and address environmental challenges. The Bank is also prepared to finance upgrades of street lighting, urban transport, water and wastewater services, solid waste management, district heating and renewable energy infrastructure.
EBRD Green Cities was conceived to offer tangible support that helps cities improve the quality of life of their residents. All participating cities embark on a trigger project to improve their local environment.Then, with EBRD help, they develop an action plan to identify further investments and policy changes that are best suited to their needs.
Cities, which account for 70 per cent of energy use and 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, represent a big opportunity to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. This is particularly true of cities in the EBRD regions, where obsolete urban infrastructure is degrading quality of life, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing communities from adapting to climate change.
The EBRD is an important institutional investor in Azerbaijan. To date, the Bank has invested €3.3 billion(US$3.68billion) through 170 projects in the country. It also provides business advice to local small and medium-sized enterprises and has helped more than 1,000 firms to improve their performance and growth.