European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Energy efficiency strategy, standards and investment

This page is part of the E3G Public Bank Climate Tracker Matrix, our tool to help you assess the Paris alignment of public banks, MDBs and DFIs.

Paris alignmentReasoning
Paris alignedRobust energy efficiency standards across sectors.
Overarching energy efficiency first strategy/principle
In its Green Economy Transition 2.1 approach, EBRD has designated energy efficiency as a cross cutting platform to ensure energy efficiency is applied across sectors. Currently unclear how this will be operationalised.
Transport energy efficiencyBuilding energy efficiencyFinancial intermediary energy efficiency
Promotes an “Avoid-Shift-Improve” strategy for transport development.Promotes international certification standards and requires highly efficient technology in its Green Economy Transition Approach.Requires technology eligibility criteria for financial intermediary lending.



The EBRD has adopted the “Avoid-Shift-Improve” principle within its transport strategy (outside of urban areas) and it aims to scale up investment in less polluting modes of transport such as railways, inland waterways, intermodal and logistics to encourage a modal shift. Within its municipal and environmental infrastructure strategy, the EBRD looks to develop its financing in fleet electrification and urban streetscape solutions. Public transport is a key part of urban transport lending.


In its property and tourism strategy, the EBRD aims to promote the utilisation of international certification standards such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and use green technologies detailed in the Green Economy Transition Approach. The EBRD also has a partnership with the World Green Building Council for sustainable property development.

According to the Green Economy Transition Handbook, brownfield energy efficiency projects require several things. Firstly, old technologies are to be replaced well before the end of their expected actual lifetime. The baseline scenario for the project must demonstrate that the existing installation would continue to operate for at least another 3-7 years. The replaced technology is taken out of use and is not being used elsewhere and that new technologies are consistent with best practice in industry (EU Best Available Technology or other internationally recognised standards).

Financial intermediaries

Under the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), the EBRD provides credit lines with eligibility criteria to financial institutions. It provides technical assistance to help intermediaries identify high performance technologies. The Green Technology Selector tool is part of this. Developed by the EBRD it lists pre-approved green technologies that can be used with GEFF financing. It requires “a performance improvement of least 20% beyond a baseline of typical replacement technologies”. Furthermore, in conjunction with the Carbon Trust, the EBRD has expanded this tool into China – with plans to expand further in the future – demonstrating the impact the tool can have in developing green financial products.

Industry and policy support

E3G intends to expand this metric to include industrial energy efficiency and policy support in the future. Areas that E3G is aware of work being undertaken by the EBRD includes:

  • The EBRD working with private actors to develop energy efficiency improvements. An example is work done with the Schwartz Group.
  • The new Green Economy Transition strategy states that the EBRD is currently working with the IEA (International Energy Agency) on developing global decarbonisation pathways for the fertiliser and steel industries. It has also supported Egypt and Kazakhstan to develop low‐carbon pathways for the cement sector.
  • The EBRD is working with the GCF (Green Climate Fund) to promote the uptake of low-carbon technologies in the industrial sector. Focussed on agribusinesses and the mining sector it also aims to stimulate  corporate governance changes to include climate change considerations.
  • The EBRD is also part of the Three Percent Club, a coalition of actors looking work together in order to increase energy efficiency improvements by 3% annually.

Last Update: November 2020

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