How do we make an impact?
We promote international best practices and encourage innovative approaches to bring about lasting change.
Since 2006 the EBRD has actively contributed to addressing the global challenge of climate change and sustainable development by mainstreaming and increasing financing climate change mitigation and adaptation and the sustainable use of resources.
- Sustainable resources and climate change
- Greenhouse gas assessment for 2015
- Climate finance partnerships
- International action on climate change
- Municipal and environmental infrastructure
- Gender equality
- Economic inclusion
- Special environmental programmes
- Donor partnerships and sustainable change
SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Sustainable Resource Initiative
The EBRD’s Sustainable Resource Initiative (SRI) promotes efficiency and innovation in three areas vital to the countries where we invest: energy, water and materials. Resource efficiency has become a priority for all countries in our region due to volatile prices and growing environmental concerns, including the impacts of climate change.
In 2015 we invested €2.8 billion in SRI projects supporting the sustainable use of energy and other resources, which accounts for 30 per cent of our annual Bank investment.
2015 has been a year of stepping up the Bank’s contribution and commitment to climate finance. We introduced the Green Economy Transition (GET) approach, which was approved by the Board and will be formally rolled out in 2016.
Green Economy Transition
The GET approach aims to expand on the work previously covered by the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) and SRI and further scale up the EBRD’s actions to address the transition gaps related to sustainable resource use and climate change. It builds on the Bank’s tried and tested business model of combining investments with technical assistance and policy dialogue. While climate change has received the most attention, the EBRD’s countries of operations also have a large environmental footprint in many other areas, including air quality, water quality, the local environment and natural assets. These externalities require corrective measures including climate change mitigation, waste management, pollution control and improved stewardship of natural assets. The EBRD will help to meet these challenges through the Green Economy Transition approach. Technical assistance can help to overcome barriers through market analysis, resource audits or training and awareness-building. Policy dialogue supports the development of strong institutional and regulatory frameworks that incentivises sustainable resource projects.
Under GET, the EBRD aims to raise the amount of climate finance to €18 billion over the next five years. This translates into a target share for green financing of at least 40 per cent of total annual investments by 2020, compared with a target share of 25 per cent over the previous five years.
Sustainable Energy Finance Facilities
In 2015 the EBRD stepped up its Sustainable Energy Finance Facilities (SEFFs), whereby they have now been extended to 23 countries.
The EBRD SEFF programme extends credit lines to local financial institutions for on-lending to their clients from the industrial, commercial, residential and municipal sectors for investments in energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy projects.
In 2015, the Bank launched its first SEFF with a focus on climate change adaptation in Tajikistan. Funds provided to local financial institutions will be on-lent in local currency to SME clients and households to help them adopt technologies and practices to reduce soil erosion and pressure on water and energy resources, both of which are key environmental threats in Tajikistan. The facility is supported by one of our long-standing climate finance partners, the Climate Investment Fund (CIF).
The EBRD operates its SEFFs through a network of more than 100 local financial institutions (banks, microfinance institutions and leasing companies), providing around €500 million in credit lines for sustainable energy projects per year.
Each €1 billion of EBRD SEFF investment avoids the equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions of 2.5 million tonnes each year.
The share of climate change mitigation, adaptation and resource efficiency projects in our total annual investments has continued to grow steadily over recent years. Cumulative investments topped €19.2 billion by the end of 2015 and supported 1,080 projects. Together these projects are estimated to result in around 77 million tonnes of CO2 being reduced or avoided. Projects range from the financing of wind, solar and hydro power generation to energy efficiency improvements in the corporate sector. They also include green transport and efficiency improvements in municipal infrastructure. Reflecting our mandate and business model, close to two-thirds of the EBRD’s sustainable energy projects are in the private sector.
As part of our efforts on climate action, we invested over €200 million in climate adaptation across 32 projects. These investments will address water scarcity and increase the resilience of infrastructure to the effects of a changing climate.
All of the projects we invest in are assessed for their sustainability/efficiency potential during the initial development and approval stages. All project-related data are subject to the Bank’s monitoring, reporting and verification framework. The results for 2015 are shown in the table.
|No. of projects||154|
|Investment volume||€ billion||2.8|
|Energy savings||PJ annually||30.0|
|Renewable power generation||TWh annually||3.5|
|CO2 emission impact1||M tonnes CO2 annually||7.3|
1 This is the CO2 impact that is forecast to result from EBRD investments in climate mitigation projects. It includes impacts that may be outside of the physical boundary of the project, such as policy, systems or supply chain effects. It is not directly comparable with the Bank’s overall GHG assessment, which estimates only Scope 1 and 2 emission increases or reductions directly associated with EBRD projects.
We also work with other multilateral development banks (MDBs) on a common methodology to track financial flows dedicated to climate change. The latest joint report was published in June 2015, providing details of climate financing in 2014. MDBs had provided a total of US$ 23 billion in financing for climate mitigation projects and US$ 5 billion for climate adaptation projects. Proportionally, the EBRD provided the most climate finance of any MDB in 2014, with 34 per cent of the Bank’s total financing going to climate projects. The EBRD also achieved the highest private sector climate finance of any MDB, with a total of US$ 2.4 billion.
Investments in conventional power generation and oil and gas extraction and production
In addition to making substantial investments in renewable energy, the EBRD also invests in conventional energy projects.
In 2015 a total of €498 million of financing could be classified as thermal power generation (€178.6 million) and oil and gas extraction and processing related projects (€319.2 million). Most of these projects financed energy security, gas flaring reduction and cleaner energy production in our countries of operations. The most notable projects in these categories in 2014 were:
- €178.6 million for the Damanhour CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) – a state-of-the-art high-efficiency gas fired power plant which will alleviate Egypt’s acute energy shortages and reduce CO2 emissions by 1.5 million TCO2e per year when compared with the plants that would otherwise meet the same electricity demand (traditional steam power plants and open cycle gas turbines). Damanhour CCGT is expected to achieve up to 58 per cent net electric efficiency and become the most energy- and water-efficient conventional power plant in Egypt on completion.
- €223.2 million for Lukoil Shah Deniz Stage II – the starting point of the Southern Gas Corridor and the main pillar underpinning future gas supplies from the Caspian region to Turkey and to Europe.
Each of these projects was subject to extensive environmental and social appraisal and will operate in line with the EBRD’s Environmental and Social Policy and Performance Requirements.
Greenhouse Gas Assessment for 2015
Our Greenhouse Gas Assessment provides an estimate of the net carbon footprint that will result from EBRD-financed projects signed during the year, once the projects are fully implemented. The calculation is based on estimated emission reductions from sustainable energy projects and estimates of “new” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from projects that involve new building or expanding capacity.
All new projects are screened and those with potentially significant GHG impacts – either emission savings or increases beyond a threshold of 20 ktCO2e per year – are subject to a more detailed assessment. The assessment also estimates the projected GHG savings that will result from smaller energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that we finance through targeted credit lines managed by financial intermediaries. GHG data for the project assessments come from a variety of sources, including environmental impact assessments (EIAs), energy audits and, in some cases, calculations carried out by our engineers. The calculations are reviewed and verified by an external GHG consultant.
|Category||Number of investments
above significance threshold
(MtCO2e per year)
|Renewable energy (RE)||8||-1.3|
|Energy efficiency (EE)||8||-0.7|
|EE with capacity expansion||2||-0.03|
|Greenfield (new build)||4||+2.4|
|RE and EE credit line||15||-0.7|
|Third-party and system savings||3||-3.1|
The EBRD has published GHG estimates for its signed projects every year since 2002. Since the introduction of the SEI in 2006, the net impact – comparing projects that increase emissions with those that reduce emissions – is estimated to result in an overall reduction in GHG emissions.
2015 marks the 10th consecutive year in which our investments have been forecast to deliver aggregate GHG savings. The recent track record shows that, by prioritising investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we have been able to grow our business volume and promote transition while also reducing GHG emissions.
The GHG Assessment includes emissions increases or reductions that are directly associated with a project (Scope 1 and 2) and generally excludes emissions that are associated with the end use of products, such as consumption of fossil fuels by consumers. However the table includes estimated “third-party and system savings” that are expected from the end-use of climate-friendly products or from overall efficiency improvements in power generation and transmission systems. For example, such third-party savings include reductions in electricity use by customers following the installation of smart metering, and energy savings in buildings using energy-efficient glass manufactured by projects we fund. While such savings fall outside of the current scope of the EBRD Greenhouse Gas Assessment Methodology, their contribution to reducing GHG emissions is recognised.
In any one year, the results are heavily influenced by a small number of large projects and in 2015 there were two projects that are expected to make significant contributions to avoiding or reducing emissions and one that will add significant emissions. One project involves the construction of components for a high-voltage transmission line that will allow the export of under-utilised renewable energy from Tajikistan to Pakistan. This is expected to result in around 1.5 million tonnes per year of avoided CO2 emissions due to lower usage of fossil fuel generation in Pakistan.
Another project involves the construction of an efficient 1.8 gigawatt capacity combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) in Egypt. This project is expected to displace more carbon-intensive generation and avoid emissions, again of around 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. In both these cases, the avoided emissions will occur outside of the immediate boundary of the project and as a result they have been included under the third-party and system savings row in the table above.
In 2015 the EBRD approved a loan for a large copper mine in Mongolia. Once operational, this mine is expected to produce around 1.9 million tonnes of CO2 annually from onsite generation of power and the consumption of diesel in vehicles.
Harmonisation of GHG assessments
International financial institutions (IFIs) have been working to harmonise approaches to assessing greenhouse gas emissions and savings of projects. This work aims to ensure consistency across the IFIs and provide assurance and transparency for stakeholders, including investors in Sustainability Bonds.
The IFI Framework for a Harmonised Approach to Greenhouse Gas Accounting was agreed in 2012 and has now been adopted by the EBRD and 12 other organisations, including the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. At the COP21 conference in December 2015, these IFIs launched three sector guidelines, outlining approaches for assessing the GHG impacts associated with renewable energy, energy efficiency and transport projects. These approaches were developed with input from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
CLIMATE FINANCE PARTNERSHIPS
The EBRD’s climate finance partners provide crucial funds to support the EBRD’s policy dialogue and facilitate technical expertise for clients. When market barriers are very high, these partners also step in and provide capital expenditure grants or concessional finance which is combined with the Bank’s commercial finance. The EBRD can thus overcome market barriers, such as the limited availability of state-of-the-art technologies and affordability constraints, which ultimately facilitates the creation of new markets. In 2015, finance from our partners, including the CIF and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) amounted to a commitment of €219 million.
Key project signings in 2015 were:
- Burnoye Solar project in Kazakhstan
- Damanhour energy efficiency project in Egypt
- Exporting hydropower from Tajikistan
- Graanul green energy project in Estonia.
INTERNATIONAL ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Over the course of 2015, the EBRD played an instrumental role in bringing together financial institutions from around the world to demonstrate the financial sector’s commitment to do more to deploy energy efficiency finance.
Following the COP21 conference in Paris in December 2015, the EBRD is fully committed to playing its role in ensuring the successful implementation of the historic Paris climate change agreement.
With our investments we will support countries in our region in implementation of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions under the COP21 Accord. The sustained focus of the EBRD’s investment is on energy efficiency improvement in cities, industries and utilities where the fastest carbon emissions reductions can be achieved. The Bank is also increasing its activity in climate adaptation financing.
The Paris Agreement places a major emphasis on the transfer of finance to support climate investments in emerging and developing economies. It provides a good basis for developing further international consensus as well as capacity- and trust-building in tackling global warming.
We will contribute to this undertaking by applying our own successful track record in attracting private finance and expertise in our own investments, in order to maintain a strong flow of funding.
Together with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), we also hosted a global energy efficiency finance forum in Istanbul in September 2015. Representatives from over 70 commercial financial institutions endorsed a joint statement pledging to further integrate energy efficiency investments into both their own operations and those of their clients.
Transport is a key area of engagement for the EBRD. However, despite being an enabler of economic growth, transport is also responsible for about one-quarter of the world’s total energy consumption. It is therefore vital to prioritise low-carbon transport systems and raise environmental standards in our projects in order to tackle climate change.
The Bank supports the development of safe, secure and sustainable transport systems which balance the economic, environmental and social needs of the countries where we invest.
In 2015 we signed 27 transactions in the transport sector for a total EBRD investment of €1,047 billion across the aviation, maritime, rail, road and intermodal sectors. The financed projects were geographically and sectorally diverse, and included the promotion of green logistics in Poland; intermodal rail transport in Bulgaria; the expansion of port capacity for grain exports in Ukraine; and the development of a new port in Morocco.
Of the total investment, €312 million was provided for energy efficiency and climate change mitigation investments under the Sustainable Resource Initiative (SRI) with predicted emission reductions estimated at 140 kTCO2e per year. This represents a contribution of 30 per cent of the Bank’s annual business volume in the transport sector. This reflects our enhanced focus on low-carbon transport as a core theme of the EBRD’s transport strategy (the business volume for sustainable transport operations in the period 2007-12 was 13 per cent).
In a year marked by several international milestones (such as COP21 and the Second Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety), the EBRD has continued its close cooperation with other development partners and IFIs to improve transparency on the climate impacts of our investments. We have now agreed joint principles for GHG accounting in transport and will continue to work towards harmonising our approaches for estimating GHG emissions with other institutions.
Together with other MDBs, we also released the third progress report of our Rio+20 commitment. This included – for the second year – a sustainability assessment of our transport lending in terms of economic, social and environmental impacts.
For further information, visit www.ebrd.com/transport.html
Road safety remains a high priority in the EBRD’s activities in the transport sector. The number of traffic-related deaths is considerably higher in our region than in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and emerging markets with similar income levels, and also results in significant injuries to the economy. Road safety, therefore, is one of the biggest issues in sustainable transport facing our region. Throughout 2015, the EBRD continued to identify key risks in our new road investments and strongly promoted road safety audits, outreach activities, awareness campaigns and technical cooperation (TC) projects aimed at safety improvements, strengthening institutions and building capacity.
An example of this work can be seen in a project in FYR Macedonia. In November 2015, the Bank extended a loan increase of €21 million to support further improvements to the Macedonian national road network section between Stip, the fastest-growing regional centre, and the eastern town of Kocani. The new financing aimed to support the improvement of the original design of the road reconstruction, originally agreed to and financed in November 2014. The improvement plan considered environmental concerns and agreed to maintain the existing two-lane, single carriageway, but the length of the road is to increase to 28 kilometres. A key element of this additional investment is road safety, not only in improving the original plans but improving safety audits as the work is completed.
Together with other international financial institutions, we also continue to engage in policy dialogue with the state authorities to build institutional capacity, update national road safety standards, raise awareness and improve infrastructure design. In this context the Bank launched an initiative in 2015 to assess the current gaps in road safety management within the countries in the Western Balkans and raise awareness among the government officials, contractors and local road engineers about road safety auditing processes as part of road construction and rehabilitation procedures.
Road safety assessment and awareness is also applied to projects in other sectors where appropriate. For example, one of our projects is developing and constructing the Shuakhevi hydroelectric power plant in Adjara, south-western Georgia. The project means that both adults and children in a remote area of hilly villages and winding roads are now encountering construction traffic for the first time. There is no data available showing the causes of road death and injury in Adjara itself but statistics for the whole of Georgia show one-third of all road deaths are a result of speeding and one-third involve pedestrians. The client, Adjaraistsqali Georgia, suggested running a course in the local community about negotiating traffic safely. This involved bringing together local authorities, including transport police, as well as 200 children from local schools.
MUNICIPAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE
The EBRD’s operations in the municipal and environmental infrastructure (MEI) sector provide millions of people with access to crucial services such as safe drinking water, energy-efficient district heating, green public transport, sanitary waste disposal and well-maintained urban roads. We work with local governments, private companies and donors to bring about positive change in people’s daily lives throughout the countries where we invest.
In 2015, we financed 45 projects in the MEI sector, representing a total EBRD commitment of €713 million. Such investments are expected to benefit a total of over 35 million people in the EBRD region, with improved municipal infrastructure and services such as drinking water, sufficient heating and sustainable waste disposal. In addition, up to 1.5 million people per day are expected to use the public transport systems we have helped support, widening the reach of the benefits of our work further.
Some 66 per cent of MEI investments financed in 2015 contributed to energy efficiency and climate change mitigation, with predicted emission reductions estimated at 878,000 tCO2e a year. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, projects in the municipal sector bring additional environmental benefits, for example by reducing the emissions of particulates by urban bus fleets and by decreasing the amount of untreated effluent entering bodies of water. As in previous years, our MEI investments leveraged considerable volumes of loan and grant co-financing from the European Union and other sources.
Watch our video on gender equality at the EBRD here
Gender equality has been firmly on the EBRD’s agenda in 2015 and continues to be an important means of achieving economic growth in the region. The Bank believes that this is not only a social issue, but that gender equality is also closely linked with economic transition and sustainable growth. Improving gender equality can make labour markets more competitive and increasing the entrepreneurial opportunities for women improves the competitiveness of product markets.
In 2015 we signed 23 projects with either a gender focus or component.
In December 2015, the EBRD’s Board of Directors approved the Bank’s first Gender Strategy. Our Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality is the Bank’s first formal response to global gender inequalities and inequities. It commits the Bank to mainstreaming gender equality in its operations by 2020 through promoting behaviours to address inequalities and thereby contributing to building robust economies. The Gender Strategy benefited from the input and assistance of a wide range of stakeholders. The Bank held seven public meetings with 142 attendees, plus 19 bilateral meetings with development agencies, IFIs and industry associations.
Underpinning this commitment is the EBRD’s pledge to increase support in terms of financing, policy dialogue and access to know-how and training. As from 2016, we will deliver this through three key approaches.
The first is access to finance. Across the world, women-led businesses continue to grow and contribute to the economy. However, the majority of them do not have the access to finance that they need to operate due to a range of factors, including lack of collateral and access to dedicated training. With a global gender credit gap of an estimated US$ 285 billion, more than 70 per cent of women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are believed to be unserved or underserved financially worldwide.
Addressing the structural barriers to finance that women face throughout the EBRD’s region is a fundamental pillar of the Strategy.
The second is access to employment and skills. No country can be globally competitive without the economy harnessing the talents and meeting the needs of both men and women, be they in the private or public sectors. The EBRD is committed to supporting clients to integrate the principles and practices of inclusion and equal opportunities into their businesses to create fair, diverse and flexible workplaces that benefit men and women alike.
The third approach concerns access to services. Low-quality, unreliable and unsafe infrastructure impacts directly on economic growth, creating barriers to markets while also placing undue burden, more frequently than not, on women rather than men.
The EBRD has a well-established track record working alongside its infrastructure partners – in particular in the municipal and environmental sector where it lends on average over €500 million each year. The Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality pledges to deepen our support to further enhancing service delivery with a particular focus on promoting safe transport for all users, thereby improving the economic and social consequences of its investments.
The EBRD’s work in gender equality benefits significantly from the support of donors. In 2015 there were 12 donor-funded commitments totalling €700,000 for gender activities linked to investments that focused on improving access to finance, skills, employment and services. Donor funds are also used to further policy dialogue.
- Gender equality in Osh trolley buses in the Kyrgyz Republic
- Juhayna Equal Opportunities in Egypt
- AET Equal opportunities in Kazakhstan
- Egyptian National Railways restructuring – Safe Transport For All
Economic inclusion is crucial to achieving sustainable transition. Equality of opportunity is the basis for the EBRD’s focus on inclusion, especially in relation to youth, gender and populations in less-advanced regions. If people are given a chance to succeed, they are more likely to participate in the workforce, pursue higher skills and education, or engage in activities that lead to economic growth. Economic inclusion helps to address the unintended consequences of market reforms that leave certain groups behind and, in turn, strengthens wider public support for economic reforms and the transition process.
The EBRD’s innovative approach to inclusion focuses on creating value propositions for businesses. Our clients recognise that inclusive practices bring tangible benefits to their businesses, whether it’s accessing new customer segments, improving the skills-base of their staff or diversifying their workforce. Throughout 2015 we have helped clients develop bespoke training programmes based on international standards in sectors such as retail, automotive manufacturing or tourism; and facilitated private sector input in the design of improved national vocational skills standards in relevant disciplines.
This work has created an important and unique role for the EBRD in an area where private sector engagement to achieve inclusion impact is often weak.
In 2015 the EBRD signed 43 projects with inclusion components, representing a total investment volume of €1.76 billion, with a further 80 in the pipeline. Projects with inclusion components are operational in many sectors across several areas of the Bank’s transition region, particularly in Turkey, the SEMED region, the Western Balkans and Central Asia. These include retail and manufacturing projects that help unemployed young people gain skills and find jobs; financial projects that help women-led SMEs access finance and grow their businesses; agribusiness projects that connect schools and employers to facilitate the transition routes for young people into local jobs; and urban transport projects that offer young job seekers onsite training opportunities in the private sector through public procurement and mandatory skills training.
Most inclusion projects achieve a very high transition impact (TI) score and are among the EBRD’s most profitable investments. Inclusion therefore presents a real opportunity for the Bank to expand both its operations and TI.
In 2015 we launched an Inclusion Technical Assistance Framework (€2.5 million for three years) to strengthen our ongoing and expanding efforts to achieve an inclusive transition process in the EBRD region. The framework provides targeted technical assistance for projects seeking to achieve systemic inclusion and policy reform that will improve the economic opportunities of young labour market entrants and populations in economically less-developed regions across three thematic areas: skills transfer, training and employment; finance and entrepreneurship; and services and technology. We expect that the framework will enable efficient mobilisation of technical assistance, identify lessons learned across the projects, and share knowledge to further enhance the EBRD’s inclusion support.
Policy dialogue on inclusion expanded throughout 2015, specifically in relation to strengthening private sector engagement in the development of improved vocational and technical skills standards. We have launched a dedicated policy dialogue programme in Turkey to facilitate private sector engagement in the government’s reform agenda in relation to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and youth inclusion.
We are expanding our partnerships to join efforts by international, regional and sectoral agencies such as the European Training Foundation and the World Tourism Organization.
Inclusion gap assessment
The EBRD updated its assessments of youth and gender inclusion gaps in 2015, with Greece being included in the assessment for the first time. The analysis of youth inclusion was expanded to incorporate a new “skills mismatch” dimension to measure the disparity between the supply of, and demand for, skills and an assessment of firms’ perception of the extent to which the skills mismatch constitutes an obstacle to their operations based on the EBRD’s Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS V). The gender gaps were updated to incorporate a stronger focus on legal and social regulations and norms, and on women’s political, economic and social rights, including the number of female graduates in science and technology.
SPECIAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMMES
Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership
The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) is a multi-donor fund set up in 2010 and managed by the EBRD’s Environment and Sustainability department. The purpose of the fund is to facilitate investment in energy efficiency and environmental projects, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote policy dialogue and regulatory reforms in E5P countries.
The E5P mainly provides investment grants to co-finance municipal sector loans provided by the EBRD and other participating international financial institutions, including the European Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, the Nordic Investment Bank, KfW Bankengruppe, the World Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank.
The E5P’s initial focus has been Ukraine, with total pledges nearing €110 million since 2010, including funds from the European Union (€40 million) as the largest contributor. Other contributors include Sweden, Ukraine, the United States and nine European countries. In 2015 the E5P Assembly approved €17.5 million in grant funds for the EBRD’s Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility for Ukraine, €11.5 million for two other EBRD projects to renovate district heating networks in Chernivtsy, and to construct a biogas facility in Lviv.
In 2015 E5P started operations in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. The new countries have signed their contribution agreements and received grant support for their first projects eligible under the E5P criteria. The growing pipeline of projects far exceeds the pledged funds of €60 million (€30 million from the European Union as the largest donor).
Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership
The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) is a multi-donor fund that was established in 2002 and is managed by the EBRD. Total contributions to the fund are €348 million.
The fund is split into two windows. In the first, the EBRD’s Nuclear Safety department is using grant funds provided by NDEP contributors (€166 million) to tackle risks caused by radioactive waste deposited in the north-west of Russia. The nuclear safety projects within NDEP are fully grant financed.
The EBRD’s Environment and Sustainability department manages the environmental window of the fund, promoting municipal sector projects for water and wastewater treatment, energy efficiency and municipal waste management in north-western Russia and northern Belarus. The NDEP funds for environmental projects total €182 million and are used as co-financing to support loans from the EBRD and other NDEP-approved implementing agencies (the European Investment Bank, the Nordic Investment Bank, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation and KfW).
In 2015 Belarus committed another €1 million to extend its cooperation with NDEP to improve its wastewater treatment impacting the ecology of the Baltic Sea. NDEP approved grants totalling over €7 million over the year to rehabilitate wastewater treatment facilities in the cities of Lida and Polotsk. In Russia, several large wastewater treatment projects are nearing completion, one of them being the Neva Programme in St Petersburg. This project has been a huge undertaking for NDEP, worth close to €563 million, and the results are starting to speak for themselves. Thanks to the cooperation with NDEP, St Petersburg has raised the level of wastewater treatment in the city to over 94 per cent.
DONOR PARTNERSHIPS AND SUSTAINABLE CHANGE
Donors have supported the EBRD’s work since we began operations. Their focus, like the Bank’s, is on helping transition economies develop into mature market-oriented ones. Moreover, in line with the Bank’s approach, donors aim to make these changes sustainable, benefiting both the local environment and the community.
Over 30 bilateral donors, several multi-donor and international multilateral funds contribute to sustainable change by supporting our work. Overall, about one-third of the Bank’s investments in all sectors of the economy are directly supported by donor funding.
This is particularly noticeable in the strong donor support for our green agenda. Over the past 10 years, donors have provided just over €1 billion to fund technical assistance, grants, concessional co-financing and risk-sharing facilities for the EBRD’s energy efficiency and climate change projects.
In the municipal and infrastructure sector, donors have supported sustainable growth by helping us invest in green infrastructure which not only saves energy and reduces the carbon footprint of cities in the EBRD region but also delivers better services for its citizens.
- Improvements in solid waste management in Georgia (supported by Sweden)
- Low energy street lighting in Moldova (supported by TaiwanICDF)
- Osh trolleybuses in Kyrgyz Republic
Donors are also helping the EBRD create sustainable growth by improving economic inclusion and promoting gender equality. For example, together we promote the role of women entrepreneurs by providing finance and business advice via local banks to female-owned or run SMEs. In 2015, as part of the Bank’s Women in Business programme, credit lines were extended to Egypt, Kazakhstan, the Western Balkans and Turkey. The generous support of donors has helped finance key aspects of this initiative.
Donors also play an important role in the EBRD’s policy dialogue activities, which result in better regulatory frameworks to ultimately increase transparency, improve the business climate and make our region more attractive to foreign investors, providing another step on the path to long-lasting change. An example of this important work is Ukraine’s first Business Ombudsman which is independently funded by the Ukraine Multi-Donor Account.
In 2015 donors provided over €3.6 million for environmental and social technical cooperation assignments. A particular focus in 2015 was on building local capacity and expertise in those areas. Using TC funding, the EBRD trained around 300 local environmental and social consultants in eight countries and provided scholarships for 20 students to attend a University of Groningen course on land acquisition, resettlement and social sustainability. These programmes will provide high-quality local capacity to assist with the EBRD’s project appraisal work and will spread good practice across the Bank’s countries of operations.
Without donor support, much of the EBRD’s impact on the countries where it invests would be less sustainable. That is why our donors’ continuous commitment to our work is so vital.
Read more about our donor partnerships on the Donor Report microsite.