Congratulations to Odette Renaud-Basso as the new president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the first woman to hold the permanent presidency of a major multilateral development bank.
With the start of this new presidency, members of the Big Shift Global Coalition have high expectations for the EBRD to become a truly green bank. Public finance institutions including the multilateral development banks should be leading the way in urgently tackling the climate crisis and ensuring energy access for all. Big Shift Global members look forward to the EBRD increasing their investments in renewable, sustainable energy access for all, putting an end to all further financing of any fossil fuels and ensuring their investments are aligned with the Paris Agreement.
As large sums of money are being spent on the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, it is vital that these funds also tackle the climate crisis and promote resilience to all crises particularly for the most vulnerable people.
Below are some of the key actions the Big Shift Global members would like to see from the EBRD under this new presidency:
The EBRD should bring forward its date for being Paris Aligned. The bank should commit to be Paris aligned by 2022 or earlier.
The EBRD should look to match the ambition of the EIB in committing to rule out finance to unabated fossil fuel projects. This can be achieved by bringing forward the energy sector strategy review with a view to increasing restrictions on gas infrastructure.
The EBRD should consider how to support its clients and financial intermediaries in aligning with the Paris Agreement. For example, this could be achieved by requiring clients to have a decarbonisation (and adaptation) plan in line with the Paris Agreement.
The EBRD will also have a big role to play in a Just Transition. The EBRD ruled out coal in 2018. Would you now consider going a step further and look at coming up with innovative financial instruments – bonds or similar – that can finance the early retirement and replacement of coal plants? This could also be applied to gas infrastructure in the future.
The EBRD should layout how it intends to increase its adaptation finance as a percentage of its portfolio. In 2019 this stood at 4% of total operations, compared to 34% for mitigation finance.
The members of the Big Shift Global Coalition wish President Odette Renaud-Basso the very best in this new post and look forward to ambitious action to promote a green, sustainable, just recovery.