The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are joining forces to promote sustainable tourism and make green technologies more accessible to the tourism sector.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has had a massive impact on the tourism sector, which supports many millions of jobs globally and has become an established pillar of sustainable development.
With the tourism sector one of those worst hit by the global pandemic, the priority now is to support the sector’s sustainable recovery.
Jointly working to accelerate the transfer of climate finance, the EBRD has put forward the Green Technology Selector, an online shopping-style platform.
Although the crisis is far from over, there is growing awareness of the need to set a direction for a greener tourism sector in the future.
With the objective of advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UNWTO supports the EBRD’s Green Technology Selector. The platform can complement existing UNWTO online resource efficiency tools, such Hotel Energy Solutions (HES) or the ambitious Nearly Zero Energy Hotels (neZEH).
The EBRD’s Green Technology Selector is an online shopping-style platform that lists best-in-class technologies from manufacturers around the world.
The hospitality industry and businesses servicing the tourism sector are able to access the Green Technology Selector, to find over 26,000 green technologies that benefit from EBRD support. These include the EBRD’s Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), the Green Trade Facilitation Programme (Green TFP), and the Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change programme (FINTECC).
Possible investments will improve energy efficiency, provide renewable energy and reduce water and resource use. They can include energy-efficient windows and doors, thermal insulation, lighting, construction equipment and machinery, photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal heat pumps.
“Buildings account for approximately 40% of global energy use, with this estimate even higher for the hospitality sector, which offers great potential for boosting resource and energy efficiency, and reducing its carbon footprint,” said Vlaho Kojakovic, EBRD Director, Property & Tourism, “We are delighted to continue our cooperation with UNWTO and support the tourism sector through the challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic.”
He added, “Looking beyond the crisis, we believe that the EBRD’s Green Technology Selector will help deliver a more energy efficient tourism sector in the years to come.”
The Green Technology Selector will accelerate the delivery of climate finance under GEFF and other EBRD financial instruments. This comes with the support of international donors and partners, such as the European Union (EU), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Climate Investment Fund (CIF).
The EBRD developed the Green Technology Selector under the GEFF programme with the support of donor funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance.
The EBRD and UNWTO are longstanding partners. In 2019, the two institutions renewed their strong commitment and signed an agreement that would see the EBRD’s support for inclusive and sustainable tourism in the economies where it invests, particularly in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region and the Western Balkans.