The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched a new programme called the “Regional Circular Economy Initiative” on Monday 5 October 2021. Reserved for Turkey and the Western Balkans, i.e. six countries in total*, it will make it possible to “remove obstacles to the transition to a circular economy (….) and support investments in the private sector, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in order to implement innovative and resource-saving technologies and adopt circular business models”, as stated in an EBRD press release.
The EBRD will provide $140m (€120.7m) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) $13.76m (€11.86m) of the funding for the programme. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance will also participate in the technical cooperation component with a grant of $1m (€860k).
“A transition to a circular economy is urgently needed to offset accelerated pressures from population growth, economic growth and unsustainable resource use in Turkey and the Western Balkans,” the Bank said. The new programme will help to better manage chemicals and waste, enhance security of supply of raw materials, as well as increase competitiveness, promote innovation and stimulate economic growth.
“This will be achieved by improving the management of raw materials throughout the product life cycle; diverting waste from landfills and the marine environment; reducing or avoiding GHG emissions; eliminating, preventing and improving the management of harmful chemicals; and implementing technologies and practices to control GHG emissions. The innovative pricing mechanism consists of a reduced interest rate, based on implementation milestones and circular business strategies,” says the EBRD.