EBRD Green Cities Programme in Romania: €9.3bln in More than 470 Projects

EBRD Green Cities strives to build a better and more sustainable future for cities and their residents. The programme achieves this by identifying, prioritising, and connecting cities’ environmental challenges with sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures.


Iasi to upgrade public buildings with EBRD loan

One of Romania’s largest cities, Iasi, will improve the energy efficiency of public buildings thanks to a €20.5 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

In Iasi, the energy consumption of public and commercial buildings, and the emissions from buses, trucks, and other vehicles together account for around 67 per cent of the city’s annual emissions of nitrogen oxides, which are responsible for air pollution. The project presents significant potential for energy savings.

The EBRD loan will finance the energy efficiency upgrading of 15 public buildings and the reconstruction of a bus and tram depot, designed and equipped for a new urban transport fleet that currently includes 32 trams and 44 electric buses.

The depot infrastructure will support low-carbon transport in the city and enable the operation and maintenance of the current and future urban transport fleets. The renovation of buildings and the integration of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy measures in the upgraded depot will lead to energy savings of approximately 34 per cent.

The project is part of Iasi’s commitment to improving the environment under the EBRD’s flagship urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities. The programme, which Iasi joined last summer, was created to offer cities tangible support to improve the quality of life of their residents.

This is the 54th project under EBRD Green Cities and serves as Iasi’s trigger project to formally initiate the city’s participation in the programme. In tandem with the project, Iasi will develop a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) that will prioritise local environmental challenges and identify further investment and policy actions to promote the city’s sustainable development. The GCAP for Iasi will be funded by the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund.


€7.7mln for Medias to improve its infrastructure

The EBRD’s fast-expanding €3 billion urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities, has reached a new growth milestone, with Medias in Romania becoming the 50th city to sign up to improve the environment in which its citizens live and plan a more sustainable future. The EBRD will lend Medias RON 38 million (€7.7 million) to part-fund a bigger EU project to improve its infrastructure.

“We are delighted that Medias is becoming EBRD Green Cities’ 50th member,” said Nandita Parshad, Managing Director, EBRD Sustainable Infrastructure Group.”

“When it comes to addressing the climate emergency, cities must be front and centre given the need for clean air, decarbonised urban transportation and free access for all. This is why we established our flagship EBRD Green Cities Programme – to introduce bottom-up planning for green priority investments for cities.”

Medias located in Sibiu County in the central Romanian region of Transylvania, is an existing EBRD client. The city is looking to revitalise its public infrastructure as pre-requisite for business and economic development in the region. The city, with a population of approximately 56,400 inhabitants, suffers from legacy infrastructure issues across its transport network, public buildings, and road systems. Medias plans to address these issues through a broad programme of investments, focused on accelerating the City’s sustainable development and transition to a low-carbon future.

Cities, which account for 70 per cent of energy use and 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, represent a big opportunity to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. This is particularly true of cities in the EBRD regions, where obsolete urban infrastructure diminishes the quality of life of citizens, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and preventing communities from adapting to climate change.

EBRD Green Cities was launched in 2016 with just €250 million of funding, which was expected to last five years. The programme proved so popular that its funding was quickly increased. EBRD Green Cities has won support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and attracted significant levels of co-finance, expanding the number of cities that can be supported and further raising the level of ambition.

EBRD Green Cities offers tangible support to help cities address their environmental issues and improve the quality of life of their residents. All participating cities embark on a trigger project to improve their local environment then, with EBRD help, work on a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) to create a tailor-made list of further environmental investments and policy changes most suitable to address their environmental challenges.

In the case of Medias, the trigger project will be work on rehabilitating, modernising, and improving energy efficiency in public buildings, as well as public transport investments supporting e-mobility. Both will bring significant greenhouse gas emissions savings. The EBRD loan will represent the city’s co-financing of a larger investment for a total value of RON 138.4 million (€28.1 million), approved under the relevant EU Regional Operational Programme in Romania.

Medias is the 3rd green city in Romania, after Craiova and Iasi, while Timisoara and Constanta are expected to join the programme soon. To date, the EBRD has signed €9.3 billion in more than 470 projects in Romania.

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