The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development pledged to scale up its contribution to the global fight against climate change with a sharp increase in green financing over the next five years. The announcement came two months before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, set to seal an international climate agreement and define an agenda of specific actions to combat climate change.
Since the launch of its Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006 the EBRD has invested over EUR 18 billion in over a thousand projects with a total value of EUR 97 billion, the press release said. „The international community has a unique chance this year to deliver a decisive set of measures to combat climate change. With its long experience as a leader in climate finance, the EBRD is making an important contribution to this collective stand through its Green Economy Transition approach,” said Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD’s president.
With the new approach, endorsed by the board, the bank is aiming for green financing to be doubled to EUR 18 billion over the next five years, it said on its website. The bank is aiming to increase green financing to around 40% of total annual investments by 2020 compared with a target share of 25% over the previous five. In 2014, the EBRD dedicated 34% of its total EUR 8.9 billion in investments to sustainable energy and resource finance.
Investing in a wide variety of projects ranging from solar plants in Jordan and Kazakhstan and wind farms in Turkey and Mongolia to energy efficiency projects in factories and commercial and residential buildings, led to a reduction of carbon emissions of over 72 million tonnes a year, EBRD said. The investments generated almost 60 million MWh a year in renewable energy, equivalent to the electricity production in Romania in 2013, and led to annual energy savings of over 26.3 million tonnes of oil equivalent, exceeding the total energy demand in Greece in 2013, the article underscores.
In areas like renewable energy project finance, district heating rehabilitation and the Sustainable Energy Finance Facilities, activities are planned to be scaled up. The bank said it would step up its work to transfer the most advanced climate technology into the countries where it invests and develop new approaches for increased energy efficiency in various industries, such as in financing building rehabilitation. The EBRD will intensify its efforts to work with authorities at all levels to support the introduction of related regulation and legislation, as well as investment planning.