By Vanora Bennett
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)and the European Union (EU) are stepping up their support for green investmentsand climate resilience in Egypt, Morocco and the countries of the EasternPartnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).
The EU is providing a total of €61.3million(US$68.84million) in grants to support three EBRD programmes helpingbusinesses invest in energy efficiency, cut their carbon footprint, introduceinnovative green technologies, support the circular economy and improve legalframeworks for energy and resource efficiency investments.
Climate finance is a crucial instrument for greeninvestments, to increase the use of renewable energy and to build a low-carbonfuture, especially at a time when the coronavirus pandemic and the drop infossil fuel prices threaten climate action progress. The EBRD and the EU viaTeam Europe are committed to accelerating a green recovery in the countrieswhere they work together.
In Egypt, a €24.8 million grant from the EU will support theEBRD’s Green Energy Financing Facility (GEFF), which focuses on supportingenergy-efficient and renewable energy investments through local financialinstitutions for lending on to private companies.
Similarly, in Morocco, GEFF will benefit from a €21.1million EU grant that will allow local businesses to invest in greentechnologies. Beneficiaries will reduce their costs by implementing climateadaptation measures, energy-efficient and renewable-energy technologies, thusalso improving their overall competitiveness.
In the Eastern Partnership region, €15.4 million from theEU4Climate initiative will be channelled through the EBRD’s Finance andTechnology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC) programme to corporatesector clients via investment grants, technical assistance and the offer ofclimate innovation vouchers, which are expected to accelerate the adoption ofinnovative climate technologies and sustainable business practices.
EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, PierreHeilbronn said: “Our strong cooperation with the EU will bring concretebenefits for the environment in the countries where we jointly provide climatefinance and support. On top of our investments, we will also focus on improvingthe regulatory framework for such green investments to develop a sustainablemarket for climate technology in the region.”
European Union Commissioner for Neighbourhood andEnlargement, Olivér Várhelyi said: “Our longstanding cooperation with the EBRDis extremely valuable, including in the domain of green finance where the bankhas important experience. In Egypt and Morocco as well as in the EasternPartnership countries, our joint support will help to step up energy-efficientand renewable-energy investments in the private sector, thus helping to buildsustainable economies.”
The EBRD is a pioneer infinancing projects that promote renewable energy and combat climate change. Todate, the EBRD has signed €34 billion in green investments, financed more than1,900 green projects and reduced over 102 million tonnes of carbon dioxideemissions.