The COVID-19 crisis has illustrated the central role that cities play in managing crises and helping the residents. Recognising this, the EBRD Green Cities expanded its mandate to support cities in coping with the impacts of the pandemic. The programme received a vast support as its budget was significantly raised to EUR 2.5 billion.
- Solidarity Package
The EBRD unveiled the first solidarity package in March 2020 to support its cities and their economies. The EBRD further approved extra EUR 21 billion until the end of 2021 to provide finance and policy support to help combat the immediate threat from the virus.
- Revised Green City Action Plan (GCAP)
Taking into account the effects of the pandemic and its likely after-effects, the EBRD broadened the scope of the GCAP. With green remaining at the heart of the planning, the new GCAP offers a more comprehensive approach with expanded focus on gender equality, smart technologies to enhance green impacts, and risks and vulnerabilities assessments against shocks and hazards.
- COVID-19 webinar series
In the midst of the crisis, EBRD Green Cities launched COVID-19 Response webinars and held six webinars for over 1,500 participants. With panellists from 10 cities, different topics were explored, from the immediate response to the pandemic to transition to recovery that is green, smart, inclusive and resilient.
OTHER NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS
- EBRD Green Cities doubled in size
The EBRD Board allocated a further EUR 950 million to the programme for the next three years, so that the programme will reach EUR 2.5 billion in total. This funding extension, available to all cities across the EBRD regions, will help the Bank to support cities in their climate and environmental ambitions.
- Seven new cities joined the programme
Due to the joining of cities such as: Semey, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Ganja, Split, Iasi, Warsaw and Ankara, the EBRD Green Cities supports 44 cities now.
- EBRD Green Cities signed 13 investment projects, with two more expected by year-end
These projects will deliver sustainable infrastructure in nine cities, including the underground upgrade in Tbilisi, co-financed with the GCF. Covering a wide range of urban sectors, the Green Cities portfolio holds 38 projects, with a total value of EUR 731 million allocated to 23 cities. From the electric buses delivery in Batumi and Sofia and launching a tender for their acquisition in GAM (Amman) (by year-end), through completion of the Bovilla Water Treatment Plant expansion in Tirana and starting energy efficiency rehabilitation works in public buildings in Chisinau, to contract awarding for specialised machinery and tender announcing for the construction and demolition of waste (CDW) plant equipment and new sanitary landfill construction in Ulaanbaatar, cities are implementing green infrastructure investments on the ground with the EBRD support.
- More GCAPs approved and guiding city development
Six cities approved their GCAPs (Chisinau, Sofia, Banja Luka, Batumi, Skopje and Izmir) which now lays the foundation for their green investments for the next five years. In addition, six cities embarked on the GCAP journey (Kyiv, Balti, Almaty, Dushanbe, Novi Sad and Warsaw). 26 cities are now developing and implementing their green strategic plans.
- Establishment of a Green City Officers’ network to facilitate knowledge sharing and capacity building
This new network brings together city representatives from across regions previously or currently tasked with managing the GCAPs. The first network meeting was held on 3rd December 2020, the next one is scheduled for March 2021.
These activities were possible with the support of donors: the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), Czech Republic, the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund (SSF), the EU, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Green Energy Special Fund (GESF), Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sweden and the TaiwanBusiness – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund.
Next year will be key for the EBRD Green Cities. With the funding extension, cities support will be continued as they emerge out of COVID-19 crisis, and build a better and more sustainable future for their citizens.
For more news and updates on the EBRD Green Cities: https://www.ebrdgreencities.com