EBRD plans €1.1bn for green projects in EU countries

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New financing will boost green and sustainable investments in the municipal, transport and energy sectors of 12 countries.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will mobilise more than €1.1bn through direct investments or financial intermediaries to help EU 12 members invest in their green potential, improve sustainability and minimise their environmental impact.

The InvestEU Investment Committee has approved guarantees worth up to around €150m for the first EBRD operations under the scheme. This follows and is part of the signing of an InvestEU guarantee agreement worth up to €450m with the European Commission.

The new financing will support the EBRD’s successful Green Cities programme, which is active in more than 50 urban areas to help accelerate their green transition. It will address infrastructure gaps and improve the competitiveness and socio-economic convergence of these EU countries with other member states.

Furthermore, financial institutions in these countries will provide loans to finance investments in sustainable transport, energy efficiency, renewable energy and residential buildings.

This will contribute to energy savings and CO2 emission reduction in buildings and the transport sector. It will also help to address the vital issue of carbon intensity in the economies concerned, as well as the energy crisis triggered by the Russian war on Ukraine.

Typical projects funded by this programme will include energy and resource efficiency in industries and commerce, the circular economy and recycling initiatives, green buildings, sustainable food products, renewable energy, energy storage and grids, water and wastewater, and low-carbon and urban transport.

EBRD president Odile Renaud-Basso said: “I am very pleased that our partnership with the European Commission will unlock more sustainable and green investments across the EU. The EBRD will leverage its private-sector and policy expertise to contribute to a swift transition to a green future in the EU countries where we invest – in particular across the municipal, industrial and SME sectors of their economies.”

European commissioner for economy, Paolo Gentiloni adeed: “InvestEU plays a crucial role in promoting a sustainable and inclusive social economy. Through this agreement, EU countries in central and eastern Europe and Greece will unlock their full potential for green growth and environmental sustainability while addressing critical infrastructure gaps, enhancing competitiveness and fostering socio-economic convergence”.

The countries set to benefit are Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.