the Managing Director for Operational Strategy and Planning, and Energy Efficiency and Climate Change – EBRD European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Cities are responsible for two-thirds of the world’s energy consumption and more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, cities are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. More than 90 percent of urban areas are coastal, putting most cities at risk of flooding from rising sea levels and powerful storms. As cities hold more than half of the world’s population, and with projections of an urban population exceeding six billion by the middle of the century, cities play a key role in addressing the climate crisis.
Building more sustainable cities in the EBRD regions The EBRD regions are home to vibrant and diverse cities across central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Cities in these regions face numerous challenges such as insufficient investment in infrastructure, especially given their legacies of high energy use and carbon intensity. In addition, they face pressing environmental issues, including the deteriorating health of citizens due to poor air quality.
We developed EBRD Green Cities to support cities in our regions to build low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable cities for their residents. To date, more than 30 cities have joined the programme, including Amman, Cairo and Alexandria. In total, more than
€1 billion of EBRD and donor funding is available to finance sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency in cities, with €350million already invested.
Investments under EBRD Green Cities include energy efficiency in buildings, district energy, urban transport, water and wastewater, solid waste projects, renewable energy and projects that improve the city’s resilience to climate change. More than half of the finance provided under EBRD Green Cities is used for energy efficiency investments such as Chișinău’s energy efficiency project in public buildings and Sofia’s electric bus project.
Energy efficiency projects under EBRD Green Cities We provided €10 million to Moldova’s capital Chisinau to improve energy efficiency in municipal buildings including kindergartens, schools and hospitals. Energy efficiency measures included improvements in insulation and building service equipment such as heating systems, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Together these investments will decrease energy consumption by 50 percent. The project was initiated just after the adoption of the Law on Energy Performance of Buildings. Developed with the support of the EBRD, the law defines basic conditions and obligations for energy efficiency in buildings in line with EU directives.
We also provided €7.4 million to the Sofia Electrical Transport Company for the acquisition of 15 electric buses with fast-charging technology and six charging stations. The new buses will replace diesel buses and reduce overall emissions and costs for the transport company.
A strategic approach towards Green Cities Investments under EBRD Green Cities are part of broader city- specific strategies called Green City Action Plans (GCAP). Every participating city develops a GCAP jointly with the EBRD. The GCAP identifies and prioritises a city’s environmental and climate challenges and formulates a long-term vision for green city development. The GCAP takes the city’s financial and budgetary context into account and identifies potential sources of finance for the investments and policy measures identified.
Cities at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis In June this year more than 70 representatives from EBRD Green Cities met in London to share their experiences of building low-carbon and climate resilient cities. The event highlighted the importance of the urban agenda in our regions, as well as the cities’ commitment to addressing the climate crisis. The EBRD is dedicated to supporting our clients on this journey and to helping to create sustainable futures for cities and their residents.
The Managing Director for Operational Strategy and Planning, and Energy Efficiency and Climate Change – EBRD