Encouraged by reported reductions in carbon emissions realized over the past three years, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is stepping up its efforts to tackle Eastern Europe’s legacy of endemic energy wastage. EBRD plans to invest up to €5 billion in sustainable energy projects in Eastern Europe over the next three years, an investment that is expected to attract cofinancing of up to €10 billion. This commitment increases EBRD’s prior investments of €3 billion under its Sustainable Energy Initiative launched three years ago.
The Sustainable Energy Initiative focused initially on fostering large-scale industrial and infrastructure energy efficiencies, developing renewables and fostering the development of the carbon market. EBRD plans to continue this work over the next three years while adding additional types of investments, including energy efficiencies in buildings and the transportation sector, climate-change mitigation, stationary use of biomass, and climate change adaptation. The Bank is also seeking to develop new financial products to support these goals
Recently announced initiatives include: (1) a €70 million loan to Plinacro, the Croatian state-owned gas transmission operator to acquire a gas-storage company; (2) a €15 million loan to the United Bulgarian Bank to finance small renewable energy projects and energy efficiency; and (3) €90 million in financing to Irkutsk Oil Company, an independent Siberian energy company, to restructure debt and cut gas flaring at an East Siberian oil field.