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EBRD and GEF to finance the transition to a circular economy in Turkey and the Western Balkans




MEDITERRANEAN. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched a new programme called the "Regional Circular Economy Initiative" on Monday 5 October 2021. Reserved for Turkey and the Western Balkans, i.e. six countries in total*, it will make it possible to "remove obstacles to the transition to a circular economy (....) and support investments in the private sector, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in order to implement innovative and resource-saving technologies and adopt circular business models", as stated in an EBRD press release.

The EBRD will provide $140m (€120.7m) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) $13.76m (€11.86m) of the funding for the programme. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance will also participate in the technical cooperation component with a grant of $1m (€860k).

"A transition to a circular economy is urgently needed to offset accelerated pressures from population growth, economic growth and unsustainable resource use in Turkey and the Western Balkans," the Bank said. The new programme will help to better manage chemicals and waste, enhance security of supply of raw materials, as well as increase competitiveness, promote innovation and stimulate economic growth.

 

First programme of its kind in the target countries

The innovative pricing mechanism consists in reducing the interest rate, depending on the implementation stages and circular business strategies (photo: F.Dubessy)
The innovative pricing mechanism consists in reducing the interest rate, depending on the implementation stages and circular business strategies (photo: F.Dubessy)
"This will be achieved by improving the management of raw materials throughout the product life cycle; diverting waste from landfills and the marine environment; reducing or avoiding GHG emissions; eliminating, preventing and improving the management of harmful chemicals; and implementing technologies and practices to control GHG emissions. The innovative pricing mechanism consists of a reduced interest rate, based on implementation milestones and circular business strategies," says the EBRD.

"This innovative programme is now the first of its kind in the target countries, with a results-based financing mechanism and a clear link to a circular economy action plan," comments Gianpiero Nacci, EBRD Acting Director for Green Economy and Climate Action.

"The EGF is committed to supporting the transition to a circular economy by adopting resource efficient technologies and greener business practices. Moving from the current unsustainable linear model to a circular model requires fundamental changes in the way society produces and consumes valuable resources," says Gustavo Fonseca. GEF Programme Manager, he says he is "convinced that the regional circular economy initiative will have a significant impact across the region, with benefits to the global environment from improved chemicals and waste management, climate change mitigation and marine litter reduction."
 

* Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey


Eric Apim


Tuesday, October 5th 2021



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