The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched a $30-million Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) in Kazakhstan to support gender inclusive green finance for households and small private sector companies investing in green technology solutions.
A microfinance organization, KMF, signed up as the first local partner financial institution with a credit line of up to $5 million for on-lending to small businesses. Thousands of households and domestic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country, including small villages and remote rural areas, will benefit from loans of around $1,500 to invest in climate adaptation technologies and services. These may include solutions such as thermal insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and water-efficient irrigation systems. GEFF Kazakhstan also supports gender activities that aim to enhance women and men’s equal opportunity to access finance for green technologies. Clients can identify typical green technologies available in Kazakhstan through the GreenTechnology Selector – a catalogue of eligible local and international technologies and equipment. The European Union (EU) funded the development of the Green Technology Selector.
An online launch event brought together GEFF stakeholders, including donors, local state officials, local partner financial institutions, suppliers and producers of green technologies for the commercial sector. Businesses and homeowners investing in green technologies will be eligible for a grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Additionally, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance is funding GEFF’s technical assistance and the development of Green Technology Selector.
With the loan to KMF, the EBRD is contributing to Kazakhstan’s drive to build a carbon neutral economy and promote environment-friendly solutions friendly solutions and contribute to the global process of mitigation of carbon intensity and climate vulnerability-related risks by targeting both women and men-led businesses and female and male homeowners. The program is expected to help Kazakhstan reduce its annual energy consumption by 150,000 GJ and carbon emissions by 40,000 tons of CO2 per annum.
GEFF is a part of the EBRD’s recently announced ambitious plan to scale up its climate and environmental finance under the Green Economy Transition (GET) approach, under which the bank will aim to make more than 50% of its annual investments to climate finance until 2025, while giving particular attention to gender considerations. The GEFF program operates through a network of more than 145 local financial institutions across 27 countries, supported by more than EUR 4.6 billion of EBRD finance for 190,000 clients to date. These projects have led to annual CO2 emission reductions of more than 8.6 million tons to date. The EBRD has invested almost EUR 8.6 billion through 276 projects in the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. (Kazinform/Business World Magazine)