EIB Ready To Support Azerbaijan In Achieving Ambitious COP29 Outcomes - Maciej Czura (Exclusive Interview)

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 18. The European Investment bank (EIB) is ready to support the incoming COP29 Presidency in delivering an ambitious COP29 outcome, as well as Azerbaijan's green transition and economic development, Maciej Czura, Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus, told Trend in an exclusive interview.

"Nearly halfway into the critical decade, we must work much harder, if we are to keep the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5oC within reach. That's why a successful COP29 climate summit is crucial to accelerate global climate action. Multilateral development banks (MDBs), like the EIB, have a key role to increase public and private climate finance. At the EIB, we are ready to support an ambitious COP29 outcome that includes a new climate finance goal and accelerates a global transition to ensure that no people or places are left behind. We are actively participating in COP29 preparations alongside the European Commission and the group of MDBs," he said.

According to the bank's rep, with over 50 percent of 2023 investments in the green transition, the EIB has consolidated its position as 'The Climate Bank', both inside and outside the EU.

"Reinforcing our position as 'The Climate Bank' is our top priority. The success of the green transition depends on our ability to supply clean and affordable energy to power our industry, vehicles, and homes. This requires massive investment to develop net zero breakthrough technologies to replace fossil-fuelled industrial processes. We are continuing the conversations on how we can support Azerbaijan's green transition, mainly by financing climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability projects," he elaborated.

In the meantime, the EIB continues to support Azerbaijani businesses across various, Maciej Czura added.

"The EIB has worked with Azerbaijan since 2014. EIB Global follows EU policy objectives, for example, the flagship initiatives of the Economic Investment Plan such as improving access to finance for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with special attention to young entrepreneurs, women in business, and rural development. In the light of this, we signed a 10 million euro loan agreement with Bank Respublika last month," he said.

As such, this operation aims to strengthen small businesses by making loans available to them under favorable conditions, he explained. "This operation is part of our MSME Outreach Initiative for the South Caucasus that will help create or sustain jobs, fostering private sector-driven growth and social inclusion in the region".

Moreover, within the EIB Global initiative, the bank also provides advisory support and technical assistance for project preparation and implementation. "Currently, we are providing advisory support for safety enhancements at level-crossings along the Baku-Boyuk Kesik Railway Corridor, an important Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) link in the Middle Corridor".

According to Czura, this support is helping Azerbaijan Railways in analyzing and prioritizing interventions, and in scoping the related design studies.

"The bank provides this support under the Facility for Eastern Partnership Investment in Connectivity (EPIC). Funded by the European Union and managed by our advisory program of Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS), EPIC offers Eastern partnership countries free advisory support and technical assistance to improve transport connections," the official explained.

Maciej Czura further noted that EIB Global stands ready to work with Azerbaijan both in the public and private sectors to finance projects in the priority fields of mutual interest.

"Our future focus lies on implementing flagship initiatives outlined at EU Economic and Investment Plan for Azerbaijan which are green connectivity, digital connectivity - supporting the digital transport corridor, supporting a sustainable, innovative, green and competitive economy - direct support for 25 000 SMEs, innovative rural development, smarter and greener cities. EIB Global's strategy in the South Caucasus is shaped by the European Union priorities. The recent loan with Bank Respublika furthers the objectives of this plan and is part of our MSME Outreach Initiative for the South Caucasus. The Economic and Investment Plan also includes priority investment projects, and we are discussing their implementation with the government of Azerbaijan," Maciej Czura concluded.

The EIB is the EU bank and one of the biggest multilateral financial institutions in the world. EIB Group's new financing signed in 2023 reached 88 billion euros, whereas 49 billion euros was allocated to green financing (climate action and environmental sustainability financing). EIB Global, the EIB's development branch responsible for operations outside the EU, signed in 2023 8.4 billion euros in new financing.


Trend News Agency

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