Brčko to join EBRD Green Cities

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Fourth Bosnia and Herzegovina city joins the major programme as it launches water sector upgrade.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) fast-expanding €3 billion urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities, is growing in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Brčko city pledging to join the programme.

Brčko is in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina and becomes the fourth city from the country to join the Green Cities programme. The other three are Banja Luka, Sarajevo and Zenica. 

Manuela Naessl, EBRD head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The environmental challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina are significant and include high air pollution, low energy and water efficiency as well as a lack of public transport options. We are glad that we are already working with several municipalities and cantons to address some of these issues.”

The first step for Brčko and the EBRD will be to identify sustainable investments. This will include areas such as solid waste management, water and wastewater, urban transport, district heating and the energy efficiency of public buildings. This will happen alongside the development of an action plan for Brčko, supported with donor funds from Austria and Italy.

“EBRD Green Cities offers tangible support to cities to improve their environmental performance and at the same time also improve the quality of people’s lives,” explained Manuela Naessl. “We are very happy that Brčko will soon benefit from this programme too.”

A trigger investment in Brčko is the planned construction of a main water transmission pipeline. This one project will regulate water pressure across the urban area and bring better quality water service while reducing water losses and saving energy. The city hopes to complete the financing for this project in 2021.

Cities account for 70 per cent of energy use and 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, making them a big opportunity to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. This is particularly true of cities in the EBRD regions where obsolete urban infrastructure diminishes the quality of life of citizens, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and preventing communities from adapting to climate change.