Tackling the climate crisis, together: EBRD’s newest partnership initiative


Alexis Franke


On the heels of COP26 and in anticipation of COP27, we at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) continue to find new and innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis. Leveraging partnerships and identifying opportunities to work together on issues is critical for the EBRD and a priority to align with global initiatives by rallying international support.

Why this is critical for us?

Activists call for climate action on the streets of Glasgow in November 2021 at COP26. Photo credit: Unsplash

As a Multilateral Development Bank (MDB), the EBRD operates in 38 economies, in Central Asia, Eastern European and the MENA region, many of which are suffering from the climate crisis. In addition, an ageing power sector and underinvestment in low carbon transition in the EBRD region have also led to an average of over three times higher energy and Co2 intensity compared to the European Union (EU). It is therefore clear that the urgency is there. Furthermore, the EBRD region has some of the most water-stressed countries in the world against a backdrop of fragile and vulnerable economies – in particular in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) and Central Asia.

How do we implement?

Within this context, our Donor Co-Financing team has decided to leverage our partnerships to focus its expertise on the ground with the High-Impact Partnership on Climate Action (HIPCA). The HIPCA partnership is the first green-focused EBRD multi-donor partnership, conceived and brought to life thanks to our close cooperation with committed donors.

From the very start, it was important for us to shape this idea together with like-minded donors and EBRD teams to make sure it works for us all.

HIPCA’s primary objectives are to unleash investments and solutions that reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen resilience, reduce vulnerability to climate change, and protect the environment alongside gender and inclusion.

Working with donors is an essential part of the EBRD’s business model as it enables the Bank to help countries accelerate their green agenda to the benefit of all citizens, businesses, and the environment. The EBRD welcomes new public and private donors to join this critical partnership. And as we have learned from the climate crisis, we know we cannot do this work alone.

As it has been said many times before, achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement and commitments that were set at CoP 26 cannot be done alone and will require engagement from a wide range of stakeholders in various sectors. HIPCA works across eight core thematic areas and five cross-cutting themes, targeting both climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as environmental degradation in all 38 economies in which the EBRD operates.

And it can accommodate any form of donor contribution. With a lean governance approach, the partnership enables flexibility and speed, allowing HIPCA to address urgent needs and changing priorities which is critical for urgency.

As I write to you today, we are now ready for business! Our donors have begun supporting projects on green cities, renewable energy, low carbon transport, and climate-resilient agriculture in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Ukraine.

We hope this can be the start of many conversations and look forward to connecting with like-minded colleagues soon!

Alexis Franke is the Associate Director of Climate Funds at the EBRD.

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