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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will mobilise more than €1.1 billion in financing through direct investments or financial intermediaries to help the European Union (EU) countries where the bank invests to reach their full green potential, improve their sustainability and minimise their environmental impact.

The InvestEU Investment Committee has approved guarantees worth up to around €150 million for the first EBRD operations. 

This follows and is part of the signing of an InvestEU guarantee agreement worth up to €450 million between the European Commission and the EBRD.

The new financing will boost green and sustainable investments in the municipal, transport and energy sectors to address the environmental challenges they face.

It 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 aid recovery from the recent COVID-19 crisis, 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 in Ukraine.

The EBRD will also support green investments in a broad range of industrial and infrastructure projects. These will focus on private companies facing rising costs of newer technologies, higher perceived risks and a lack of available financing.

Typical projects which are expected to be funded 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 said, “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. 

I am proud that InvestEU will play a role in boosting green and sustainable investments, thereby fostering social inclusion and progressing towards a more equitable and prosperous future”.