Green trade finance in a changing world
At the 2019 WTO Public Forum in Geneva the EBRD presented its role in addressing global challenges
The world is facing unprecedented challenges that require us to take a multi-dimensional approach. One area where the EBRD can help tackle these challenges is trade finance.
Trade finance can provide much-needed support for investments in, and the supply of, technologies that help the world adapt to and mitigate climate change.
At the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Public Forum in Geneva in October 2019 an EBRD delegation presented how the Bank is driving this process forward.
“We are proud of our pioneering role in facilitating access to trade finance and in promoting green economies,” explained Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions.
“No longer is a green economy just an environmental necessity, it also makes economic sense. With our Green Trade Facilitation Programme the EBRD can offer access to a wide-reaching and well-established network of banks for financing the cross-border supply of key green technologies.”
Under its Green Economy Transition (GET) approach the EBRD is supporting its regions in transitioning to low carbon and climate-resilient economies.
Trade finance has an important role to play in this. The uptake of green technologies that are essential for this transition is very often hindered by the underdeveloped supply chains of climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies in the EBRD regions. These technologies are, with a few exceptions, not yet produced in these economies and need to be imported.
This is where the award-winning Green TFP comes in. To date, the EBRD has supported more than €675 million in green trade financing. Almost 900 Green TFP transactions have been financed in 22 economies where the EBRD invests, resulting in annual energy savings of 1,513,200 MWh, water savings of 1,681,399 m3 and emission reductions of 605,376 tonnes CO2 equivalent.
These efforts, which can be replicated in other regions, should ultimately result in better adaptation to climate change and faster transition to low carbon economies.
Part of the 2019 WTO Public Forum was dedicated to the role environmentally conscious millennials and representatives of the so-called Generation Z can play in addressing the challenges ahead. They are key to shaping the future of global trade and to mainstreaming and expanding trade in green technologies.
The WTO is the only global organisation dealing with the rules of trade between nations. Its Public Forum is its largest annual outreach event, providing a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system. The EBRD regularly participates in the WTO Public Forums and contributes to the Aid for Trade Global Reviews.
We are proud of our pioneering role in facilitating access to trade finance and in promoting green economies.
Green trade awards
In 2019 we recognised the most successful banks under the Green TFP by presenting them with awards for their performance in 2018.
The prize for the Most Active Issuing Bank in 2018 – Green Trade went to Raiffeisen Bank Aval.
The bank facilitated the highest number of transactions, most of them in the agribusiness sector, with an impact equivalent to annual energy savings of 18,514 MWh; in other words, a year’s public lighting in Kherson, a city with 250,000 inhabitants.
The prize for the Most Active Confirming Bank in 2018 – Green Trade was awarded to UniCredit. The bank successfully supported the highest number of transactions under the Green TFP as a confirming bank with an impact equivalent to annual energy savings of 10,235 MWh, the same as a year-long charging of 1,741 electric cars.
The prize for Deal of the Year – Green Trade was awarded jointly to Converse Bank (Armenia) and KBC Bank (Belgium) for a transaction involving the import of a greenhouse by an Armenian strawberry grower, supporting private entrepreneurship in the country with the help of a local bank.
The environmental impact was equivalent to reducing 3,473 tonnes CO2 annually, which is the same as the carbon emissions produced by 9,209 flights from Brussels to Yerevan.
Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions, enthused: “The EBRD’s commitment to sustainable economies comes in different shapes and forms, but in only one colour – green.
“And we could not do this without our partners. We are proud to honour for the first time issuing and confirming banks that have shown an outstanding commitment to green trade. Trade in energy efficiency, water efficiency, renewable energy and climate resilience technologies is very important for the EBRD regions and contributes to the EBRD’s commitment to supporting sustainable investments.”
The EBRD’s commitment to sustainable economies comes in different shapes and forms, but in only one colour – green.