There has been a unanimous international response to the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Egyptian economy, which will see green finance boosted.
The finance, which will also go to the development of value chains for the private sector, will come from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Working with the EBRD’s local partner banks, two programmes cumulatively worth €220m will offer sub-loans to businesses for green investments in energy, water and resource-efficient solutions. The programmes are complemented by EU grants of more than €30m and GCF concessional co-financing, as well as technical assistance of up to $24m.
The newly launched Green Value Chain programme, with a volume of up to €70m, will allow small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest in advanced technologies and climate mitigation and adaptation solutions. These will improve competitiveness and enhance the development of green value chains.
The programme also supports activities that enhance equal opportunities for men and women to access finance for green technologies and solutions.
The second programme, an extension of the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), aims to provide up to €150m of green finance to SMEs across the agricultural, construction, commercial and manufacturing sectors.
Loans under both programmes cover investments in the best available technologies, such as: energy and resource-efficient production machinery; renewable energy applications; agricultural irrigation and rainwater harvesting equipment; and many others. Clients can identify climate-friendly technologies with the help of the Green Technology Selector.
A webinar entitled “A green recovery: EBRD and EU green investments in the Egyptian private sector”, promoted the EBRD’s climate-resilience and energy-efficiency programmes.
It was attended by over 200 representatives from the private sector, the Ministry of Environment, the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB), participating financial institutions, as well as the EBRD and the EU.
Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, said. “Egypt has great potential to build a low-carbon future and we are proud to work with our international partners to support the country in achieving a green economic recovery.”
“The private sector is a key player in this process and has strong demand for green finance,” he added, “We are pleased to build on our successful energy-efficiency programmes and to announce our new Green Value Chain programme aimed at greening SMEs, which are the backbone of the economy.”
Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt, said, “The EU and Egypt cooperate closely to establish a green economy with a strong commitment to moving towards a low-carbon future and to making financial markets more sustainable. There is a need to incentivise green finance across the entire investment chain.“
Berger added, “Together with the EBRD, EIB and AFD we have established the first Green Economy Financing Facility in Egypt, which has served more than 100 industrial facilities to convert to low carbon schemes, and today we are very proud to launch an extension of the successful facility.”
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of the Bank’s operations in the country in 2012, the EBRD has invested over €6.8abn in 123 projects in the country.