The EDB firmly believes that achieving climate goals is only possible with international financial support

22 February 2024

Almaty, 22 February 2024. The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) participated in a round table at the 11th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21 to 22 February 2024. Conrad Albrecht, Managing Director and Head of the EDB’s Directorate of Sustainability, delivered a speech at the panel discussion focusing on achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 “Climate Action.” The discussion convened representatives from the private sector, ESCAP and other international organisations. In his presentation, Conrad Albrecht underscored the need for international financial support for climate mitigation and adaptation projects at the regional level.

He emphasised that climate change and the associated risks and opportunities of low-carbon transition have a significant impact on EDB member countries as most of these nations are vulnerable to climate change effects. Several Central Asian countries grapple with water and energy shortages and some of them still heavily rely on coal-fired generation and need substantial investments in infrastructure modernisation.

All EDB member countries have ratified the Paris Agreement and formulated nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Kazakhstan, for example, has already adopted a low-carbon development strategy. Implementing these strategies requires substantial financial resources and the EDB speaker urged institutional investors to explore Central Asia’s climate opportunities more closely and bolster international financial support for ambitious climate goals.

“Multilateral development banks (MDBs) have capabilities that make them a driving force for the climate agenda in developing countries. Not only do they set high environmental and social standards, but they are also involved in complex infrastructure projects; they channel private sector investments into green projects and mitigate risks. Nonetheless, while MDBs are revising their climate finance targets towards more ambitious figures, Central Asia’s share of total climate finance to low- and middle-income countries remains modest (4% as of 2022),” Conrad Albrecht stated.

Regarding the EDB’s operations, he emphasised the Bank’s focus on enhancing its member states’ resilience to climate change and harnessing the potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“In 2023, the value of green projects in the EDB’s current investment portfolio surpassed US $600 million, with the Bank’s cumulative portfolio of green projects approximating US $1.2 billion. Renewable energy projects constitute the largest share (68%) of green initiatives in the current investment portfolio,” he noted.

Conrad Albrecht stressed that addressing climate challenges is only possible by balancing low-carbon transformation, socioeconomic priorities, stakeholders’ interests and the attainment of other SDGs. The EDB’s experience in implementing green projects in Central Asia demonstrates that financial institutions and broader society need to clearly understand the strengths and directions of the climate agenda at the regional level and foster synergies among governments, financial institutions, the private sector, academia and civil society.

The participants voiced support for the Bank’s representative appeal to recognise the climate potential of Central Asian countries and pool efforts in funding and providing technical assistance for climate mitigation and adaptation projects.


Additional Information:

The Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) is an inclusive annual event to discuss advancements in sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the regional level. This forum provides a regional perspective on the execution of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, highlighting regional trends and sharing best practices.

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution promoting integration and development in its member countries. For more than 18 years, the Bank has worked to strengthen and expand economic ties and foster comprehensive development in its member countries. The EDB’s charter capital totals US $7 billion. Its portfolio consists principally of projects with an integration effect in transport infrastructure, digital systems, green energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering. The Bank adheres to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ESG principles in its operations.

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