European lender closer to green finance goals

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Nov. 2 (UPI) — After signing an agreement in New Delhi with a global solar alliance, the European bank for development said it moved closer to its green finance goals

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said Thursday it signed an agreement with the International Solar Alliance that envisions deep collaboration on the solar energy front.

“This is a very important agreement for the EBRD, which has always been eager to share its expertise with new partners and also to learn from them,” EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said in a statement. “With the ISA we share the vision of sustainable development and of green energy, which ultimately benefits the global economy.”

To date, the EBRD said it’s invested more than $4.5 billion directly on renewable energy, backing the development of 6.5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in more than 20 countries. The bank said it’s now “well on the way” to its commitment of sending 40 percent of its annual investments toward green finance by 2020.

European Union President Jean-Claude Junker this year said the bloc was setting its sights on becoming a global leader in renewable energy development as the United States signals its intention to leave the international Paris climate agreement. With Nicaragua joining recently, only the United States and Syria are standing on the sidelines.

Juncker in June said the U.S. decision, however, had only strengthened the resolve of countries and leaders committed to taking action against climate change.

The British and French governments said this year they’d work toward a benchmark of banning the sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles from its roads beginning in 2040. For renewable energy, nine countries that share a border with the North Sea agreed last year to improve infrastructure to support offshore wind. Germany leads among European nations in terms of offshore wind energy growth, though Great Britain has more offshore wind capacity installed.

In an apparent swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again,” Junker said in September that “Europe will ensure we make our planet great again.”

The U.S. renewable energy sector has, nonetheless, started to generate organic growth. An annual report from the Natural Resources Defense Council said some components of the renewable energy sector have accelerated faster than the government estimated. Wind power capacity, for example, was 350 percent above a government forecast from 10 years ago.

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