We engage with local governments, the private sector and donors to impact policy that can support sustainable infrastructure improvements for citizens in our economies. We work directly with national and local governments and are active in initiatives and groups such as the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and we coordinate multilateral development bank (MDB) climate finance reporting, helping develop standards and metrics for climate resilience investments. We also engage with civil society organisations (CSOs) and take into account how our projects impact people on the ground.
Our Green Policy Engagement activity, supporting the establishment of laws, regulations, strategies and action plans needed to facilitate sustainable and green economies, is expanding within our regions. We engage with leading market and policy players including governments, municipalities, regulatory bodies and industry associations in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, green cities, climate resilience and the development of national climate policies.
Since 2009, we have engaged in 333 green policy assignments, mobilising €76 million of donor funding and technical cooperation assistance. This has helped facilitate, directly or indirectly, €28 billion of investments in green economy projects and is supporting our ambitious target to make 40 per cent of our financing green by 2020.
started in 2018
Green Policy in 2018
put into force in 2018 as a result
of EBRD support
supported by Green Policy
We have been active in supporting Kazakhstan’s renewable energy policy for 10 years. More recently, we published “The fiscal implications for Kazakhstan of worldwide transition to a greener global economy” in November 2018. This report explores how the changing dynamics in global energy markets are likely to put pressure on fossil fuel exporters such as Kazakhstan. Factors include the development of alternative energy sources, the falling costs of cleaner energy technologies, and global climate goal commitments. Export revenues may fall – due both to lower exports and lower oil prices – by up to 40 per cent in the next 20 years, leading to unsustainable levels of public debt in Kazakhstan. The report proposes five areas of reform for Kazakhstan, which are also relevant to most other emerging markets reliant on oil exports: diversify revenue sources; manage oil revenues more effectively; use fiscal policies to exploit revenue-raising opportunities, provide incentives for economic development and cut wasteful expenditure; and plan public finances over the medium and long term rather than the short term.
Renewable energy auctions and policy support
The EBRD and the Energy Community Secretariat (EnCS), together with the Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), issued joint policy guidelines in 2018 to help countries design support schemes for renewable energy based on competitive selection. Countries across the world are using auctions1 to set the level of support for, and recipients of, renewable electricity. These have helped drive down the cost of renewable energy, in many cases to below the cost of conventional power.
1The term “auctions” refers to approaches that share the common feature of relying on a competitive process rather than an administrative determination. The term is used to refer to different types of competitive bidding processes – ranging from simple tenders to more complex selection methods.
Electricity storage in Jordan
We have been involved in setting up one of the world’s first permanent, non-discriminatory regulatory frameworks for deploying electricity storage. We advised the Jordanian authorities on how to facilitate a greater proportion of intermittent renewable energy sources in the national grid transparently and at the lowest cost possible for consumers.
Ukraine’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)
Our policy engagement is supporting Ukraine to meet the EU’s EPBD requirements and create a market for energy efficiency (EE) investments. In a country which lacked a legislative and regulatory framework for EE measures in residential buildings, we were able to help introduce new regulations – formally adopted by the government of Ukraine in 2018 – and raised awareness through capacity-building and a web site. The estimated EE potential in the sector over the next five years is about 11.5 million MWh/year (9 per cent of total energy consumption).
Drafting Georgia’s NEEAP and energy efficiency law
Our green policy work has helped reduce Georgia’s energy intensity and has stimulated economic growth. With support from the EU and SIDA, in 2018 we assisted Georgia in the development of its first National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) and energy efficiency (EE) legal framework. The NEEAP sets out measures for the next three years to improve energy efficiency while satisfying higher energy demands. It could help unlock up to €1.37 billion of investments, and will enable Georgia to make energy savings of 14 per cent by 2025, compared with a business as usual scenario.
Support from our donors – governments, the European Union, global climate funds such as the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as well as private sector firms and foundations – makes much of the EBRD’s sustainability work possible.
Donors support our mandate through co-financing – in the form of concessional finance and incentive grants – as well as funding technical cooperation projects and policy reform activities. The projects they support cover all economies where the EBRD is active, with an emphasis on the SEMED region, Central Asia, eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and the Western Balkans.
Green Climate Fund (GCF)
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change and to promote a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways. The GCF is the largest and newest international climate fund, created in 2010 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
To date, the GCF has given the green light to six EBRD facilities and projects with a total value of US$ 830 million covering 13 economies from Morocco to Mongolia.* These will support climate mitigation and climate adaptation, through large renewable energy frameworks and water conservation or sector resilience projects and through credit lines with local banks.
The EBRD Green Cities facility was approved in October 2018, with a first commitment of €87 million, or about US$ 100 million equivalent.
* Albania, Armenia, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tajikistan and Tunisia.
The European Union (EU)
The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of international efforts to address the root causes of climate change. It has a long-term strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a vision to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The EU is a key driver of climate-related investments, climate policy and legislation within member states, neighbouring regions and beyond.
For example, the Western Balkans Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP and REEP Plus) where the EU donor contribution is the single largest at over €44 million, has enabled over €300 million in EBRD financing for energy efficiency investments in different market segments including homes, public sector, businesses, and renewable energy investments.
We are looking forward to increased collaboration with the EU as it scales up its climate support, for example with its InvestEU and External Investment Plan facilities.
Climate Investment Funds (CIF)/Clean Technology Fund (CTF)
The CIF and CTF play a key role in accelerated deployment of climate funds and mobilisation of MDBs on climate action. As of the end of 2018, total funding approved from the CIF for EBRD projects was US$ 489 million. In 2018, US$ 15 million concessional finance was approved for an agribusiness waste residues project in Ukraine.
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The GEF plays an important role supporting the piloting of new concepts and the alignment of climate action with other benefits. Since 2014, the EBRD has benefited from GEF grant co-financing for technical cooperation and concessional finance to support our efforts to address climate change and environmental degradation. The total value of funds provided to the EBRD reached US$ 135 million, including funding from GEF’s Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). In 2018, the GEF Council approved an additional US$ 4.8 million grant for Sustainable Bioenergy Innovations in Ukraine.
*Based on the earmark amounts 2018 under the “green” transition quality, totalling €305 million (55% of the total use).
** Multi-donor Funds: European Western Balkans Joint Fund, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Multi-Donor Account, Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership Fund, Financial Intermediary Investment Special Fund.
The EBRD at the COP24 in Katowice, Poland
The EBRD is on track with the climate finance commitments it made in Paris in 2015, and together with other MDBs we are working on shaping a future in line with the Paris Agreement. This work, and the ensuing results, are needed more acutely than ever.
At the start of COP24 in December, we joined a group of MDBs to announce a joint plan to work on six core Paris Alignment areas including: aligning our operations with mitigation and climate-resilience goals; ramping up climate finance; capacity-building support for countries and other clients; plus an emphasis on climate reporting and internal activities.
Technical sessions led by the EBRD at Katowice focused on: scaling-up technology transfer; handling climate finance risk disclosure; new horizons for climate finance; supporting both potential winners and losers in the transition to the green economy; implementing green finance in COP24’s host country, Poland; supporting individual countries with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); leveraging the private sector in cooperation with the Climate Funds (GCF, GEF and CTF); and good governance for corporate climate disclosure. Of significant interest was an event we organised with Agence Française de Développement and Islamic Development Bank: “New Horizons for Climate Finance: Disclose Risk and Present Opportunities”.
We also presented our plans for a €250 million direct investment framework for Green and Sustainability Bonds targeted at financial institutions. Over the next three years, the EBRD framework, approved in September, is expected to mobilise private sector capital investments of a further €1 billion, and we aim to double the supply of Green and Sustainability Bonds issued by financial institutions across the regions where we invest.
Climate Action in Financial Institutions
We are a member of Climate Action in Financial Institutions, an initiative providing public and private financial institutions with an opportunity to learn from each other to promote good practice and collaborate on areas of common interest. Guided by five voluntary principles for mainstreaming climate change, institutions aim to shift from financing climate activities in incremental ways, to making climate change a core consideration – both in terms of opportunities and risk – as well as a “lens” through which they deploy capital.
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) support programme
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of its goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Our NDC support programme helps countries develop and implement their national NDCs as well as measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) and climate finance tracking systems. It also engages with the private sector to promote participation in NDC delivery. The aim is to streamline and enhance the NDCs to increase credibility and country ownership. In November 2018 we launched an assignment in Ukraine to help the government update its NDCs. We are also supporting Mongolia to develop a climate finance tracking system, and are engaged on NDCs in a number of countries. The Bank is also a member of the NDC Partnership, a global network of member states and international institutions to promote NDCs through knowledge-sharing and country support.
Civil society organisations
We engage proactively with civil society organisations (CSOs). They help us better understand the needs of local communities, the impact of projects on-the-ground and the sustainability risks of our work. Our engagement with CSOs enhances our accountability and transparency and guides the Bank’s decision-making at the project and strategic level. It contributes to the delivery of better, more sustainable and more targeted project and policy work in transition countries. It also contributes to our support to the SDGs.
In 2018, 2,200 CSOs were registered with the EBRD and 1,400 civil society stakeholders participated in over 170 thematic meetings and events organised by the Bank. We engaged in dialogue with international and local CSOs on around 46 investment projects in over 20 countries across a variety of sectors.
The Bank’s Civil Society Capacity Enhancement Framework comprised 24 technical cooperation projects with an overall volume of €5.7 million of mobilised donor funds by the end of 2018. Our capacity-building programmes benefited nearly 11,000 civil society and community representatives in 15 countries, mostly through tailored capacity-enhancement activities.
with the EBRD
organised by the Bank
benefited from capacity
Promoting sustainable agribusiness and youth inclusion in Ukraine
To open up economic opportunities for young people living in rural areas, we partnered with the local civil society organisation, Agricultural Advisory Services. The Dnipropetrovsk-based CSO, which focuses on improving livelihoods and the rural economy in Ukraine, has developed a vocational training programme which offered sessions on sustainable dairy farming to improve the skills and employment prospects of our trainees.
Improving water conservation and public health in Egypt
The EBRD is investing €55 million into the Kafr El-Sheikh Waste Water Expansion Programme which will provide sanitation to about 470,000 previously unable to access these services. We are also implementing an awareness-raising campaign and providing capacity-building to the Egyptian Holding Company for Water and Wastewater to improve its citizen engagement strategy. This will help improve local sustainable water and wastewater management practices, reduce water-related health problems.