Friday, November 27, 2009

Over EUR 90 million for energy efficiency and climate measures in Eastern Europe

Following a Swedish initiative, an international cooperation project for Eastern Europe was launched today in Stockholm. This cooperation project aims to provide financing for large investments in the area of energy efficiency and the environment. As part of the launch a donor conference was held in which Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson, European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria participated.

The partnership has already received strong support, with pledges made by a large number of countries to provide financial contributions. The pledges made at the donor conference amounted to just over EUR 90 million for the period 2010–2014. Sweden has promised to contribute EUR 24 million to the support fund over a five-year period.

“There is a great need for reforms in the energy sector in Eastern Europe. Energy use in Ukraine today is only one third as efficient as in the EU countries on average. This new cooperation project provides clear support for the implementation of reforms and is a concrete measure ahead of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen (COP15). Modernising the energy sector in Eastern Europe is also key to greater energy security in Europe as a whole,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson.

The new cooperation project is a Swedish EU initiative and goes by the name of Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (EEEEEP). Besides Sweden, the other countries to have promised financial support to the EEEEEP are Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Norway, Poland and the United States. The European Commission will also provide extensive financial support to the partnership, as will Ukraine.

Involved in the EEEEEP are a whole host of bilateral donors, the European Commission, Ukraine and international financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and the World Bank/International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Work in the EEEEEP will initially focus on the financing of large public projects in Ukraine, especially in the district heating sector. Other energy and environmental measures may also be eligible for support. In order to receive financing, investments should lead to a significant reduction in energy consumption and positive effects on the climate.

The money paid into the support fund for the EEEEEP will be used to finance preliminary studies and as investment grants for larger projects, in combination with loans from the international financial institutions involved in the EEEEEP.

Source: Swedish Presidency of the EU. Published on 26 November 2009.

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