EBRD and Korea strengthen co-operation on green cities
Strengthening the drive towards green economies in the countries where the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invests, the Republic of Korea and the Bank are joining forces to increase municipal and environmental infrastructure investments under the Bank’s Green Cities framework.
The framework supports urban municipalities to strategically address environmental challenges such as air pollution, solid waste and water service management as well as energy intensity.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, Korea will provide up to US$ 100 million in concessional loans to support the framework. The financing will be combined with up to €250 million of EBRD investments, technical assistance and policy reform to promote more sustainable and modern urban environment and services by implementing Green City Action Plans, together with governments, municipalities, utility companies and private municipal service providers across all EBRD regions.
The plans articulate cities’ sustainable development ambitions, strategic objectives and the investments needed to tackle priority environmental issues. As policy papers, they will also help to promote awareness and additional financing for greener cities.
In addition, Korea is committing up to US$3 million for the preparation of Green City investments according to the highest environmental and social standards, for the improvement of local investors’ governance and the involve of stakeholders in an open dialogue about investments and their impact.
The Green Cities framework builds on the EBRD’s two decades of experience investing over €700 million in municipal and environmental infrastructure – representing 800,000 tonnes of CO² mitigated annually as well as a positive impact on public health.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are delighted by Korea’s support for our Green City framework which will improve the quality of life for millions of citizens in many cities of the countries where we work and will help protect the environment. In just a few months since the launch of the framework we were already able to kickstart projects in Georgia, Armenia, Moldova and Albania, while we have many more such projects in the pipeline. The commitment and support by Korea will give our initiative an extremely important boost.”
Korea also signed a replenishment of its technical cooperation fund at the Bank today. This will strengthen investments in Central Asia, Ukraine and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region in projects in the green economy, financial institutions, small businesses, local currency and local capital market development.
Korea is a founding member of the EBRD and an important contributor to the Bank’s work. As a donor it has cumulatively contributed US$ 27.3 million in grants to the Bank and it is an important source of foreign direct investment in the EBRD’s countries of operations. The value of joint Korea-EBRD investment stood at €1.4 billion as of January 2017.