Climate Mitigation Finance Update: First Emerging Economy Green Bond, Large Scale Forest Restoration in Amazonia
UN Photo/Christopher Herwig
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Fiji has issued the first emerging market sovereign green bond.

A multi-stakeholder partnership has announced a reforestation project aiming to restore 30,000 hectares of degraded Amazonian forest land by 2023.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced several sustainable energy projects in Egypt, Morocco, and Serbia.

The European Investment Bank and the International Solar Alliance have announced a Joint Declaration to mobilize finance to develop and deploy affordable solar energy in solar rich countries.

17 October 2017: Several climate mitigation finance initiatives have been launched in recent weeks, including the first sovereign emerging market green bond in Fiji, forest restoration in Amazonia, collaboration between the European Investment Bank and the International Solar Alliance, and renewable and energy efficiency financing in Belgium, Egypt, India, Morocco, Mozambique, Serbia and Uganda.

Fiji Issues Green Bond

The Government of Fiji has become the first national government of an emerging economy to issue a sovereign green bond. The issue, worth US$50 million, will be used to support climate change mitigation and adaptation projects following Green Bond Principles. With technical assistance from the World Bank and the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), as requested by Fiji’s Reserve Bank, the bond was issued under the three-year Capital Markets Development Project, supported by the Government of Australia.

The bond will contribute to building resilience in the country as well as supporting Fiji’s commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy and reduce its energy sector CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030. [World Bank Press Release]

Amazonia Reforestation Project Announced

An estimated 73 million trees will be restored in the largest ever forest restoration project in Amazonia, following collaboration between the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (MMA), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, the Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity (FUNBIO), Conservation International (CI-Brasil), Rock in Rio, and Amazonia Live. The project aims to restore 30,000 hectares of degraded Areas in the Brazilian Amazon, focusing on the Southern regions of , Rondônia, Acre, and Pará. The restoration projects will use various methods including: enriching existing secondary forests; seeding selected native species; conducting and/or fostering natural regeneration; and direct planting of native species. [World Bank Press Release]

EIB Raises Solar Ambition

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Solar Alliance (ISA) have announced a Joint Declaration “to mobilize finance to develop and deploy affordable solar energy in solar rich countries,” as a joint commitment to successfully implement the Paris Agreement. The Declaration was formally launched at the 14th India – European Union Summit, that took place in New Delhi, on 6 October 2017, and was attended by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, as well as other senior political representatives from India and the European Union.

The EIB also announced its largest support to date for energy investment in Asia, confirming that €800 million towards small-scale renewable energy projects in India has so far been approved in 2017, including partnership financing with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and the India Infrastructure Finance Company. [EIB Press Release]

EIB Supports Energy Efficiency in Belgium

Two “smart and sustainable” projects have been unveiled in Belgium under the Smart Cities, Climate Action & Circular Economy financing programme of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Belfius Banque, launched in December 2016. The two projects, a refurbished school and a municipal building, both in Flémalle have been opened following extensive renovations to improve their energy efficiency. It is estimated that the school will save 60 000 kWh, the equivalent of 16 tonnes of CO2 (tCO2e), per year, following insulation of the roof and external walls, new insulating double-glazing window frames, and replacement of an oil-fired boiler with a new regulated gas condensing boiler. Similar refurbishments to the second building, mainly home to the Youth, Culture, Sport and Leisure Department (JCSL) and the local sports centre, are expected to save 195 000 kWh of energy per year. [EIB Press Release]

Mozambique Launches US$500 Million Project for Energy Access

Fundo de Energia (FUNAE), Mozambique, a public institution under the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, has announced it will provide US$500 million for a program to bring electrification to the remote provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala, Manica, Tete, Zambézia, Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado, using hydro and solar energy. The project is expected to bring power to 332 villages using hydropower and solar implemented in 343 projects. The projects will establish mini-grids in more than 100 locations with capacities ranging from 1-100 KW and 10 mini-grids ranging from 1-3 MW. [PV Magazine Article]

Morocco Launches Agriculture Sector Program for Solar Power

Morocco has announced plans to launch a €200 million program to promote the use of solar-powered water irrigation pumps to reduce agricultural energy use. The program, launched under the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Sustainable Development (Ministère de l’Energie, des Mines et du Développement Durable) aims to stimulate greater investment in solar power projects in the agricultural sector by 2021.

The plan is part of the ‘Agrovoltaic’ concept, which addresses agricultural energy models in the context of the necessary energy transition. The concept aims to provide farmers with flexible options and reduced costs through solar-powered resources which “optimize” agricultural production and profits. Under the initiative, the government will subsidize solar pumping solutions, foster local initiatives to enable larger farms to become energy self-sufficient. [Climate Action Article]

EBRD Funds Renewable and Energy Efficiency Projects

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced several energy projects in Egypt, Morocco, and Serbia, including in wind and solar power as well as energy efficiency.

In Morocco, a solar photovoltaic plant was installed on a factory roof of confectionery company Maghreb Industries, with finance and assistance from EBRD’s Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC). [EBRD Press Release]

In Serbia, the EBRD and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have co-financed the country’s largest wind farm with a €215 million loan to the 158 MW ‘Čibuk 1’ wind farm, which will contain 57 wind turbines and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 370,000 tCO2e. Expected to be completed in 2019, the installation will produce electricity for approximately 113,000 households and create 400 local jobs, while also contributing to local infrastructure development. [EBRD Press Release]

In Egypt, the EBRD has announced US$73 million financing for the construction and operation of three solar photovoltaic power plants, totalling 120 MW, within the planned 1.8 GW Benban solar complex in Egypt’s Aswan province. The three plants, co-financed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) with a matching loan that also benefits from support from MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency), are expected to contribute to reductions of 150,000 tCO2e per year. [EBRD Press Release]

Also in Egypt, the EBRD’s Egypt Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (EgyptSEFF) presented awards to the 11 most successful sustainable energy projects, marking the end of the scheme’s pilot stage which resulted in total annual savings of 93,000 tCO2e. Initially launched in December 2014 and implemented by National Bank of Egypt (NBE), EgyptSEFF was the first stage of a new EBRD Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) program. GEFF will provide loans for energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy investments by private companies, aiming to improve competitiveness and contribute achieve energy security. [EBRD Press Release]

Nordic Development Fund Finances Second Solar Project in Uganda

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) has announced it will finance three solar water pumping stations in the north of Uganda, under the Energy for Rural Transformation program, a joint financing initiative with the World Bank, to be implemented by the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. The project is the second collaboration between NDF and the Government of Uganda in renewable energy since 2009. Both projects provide solar water pumping stations, storage tanks and connections to central water points in the towns of Lagoro-Oryang, Omiya-Anyima and Agoro-Potika, to establish access to clean water for a 8000 people. [NDF Press Release]

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