Large infrastructure projects to strengthen climate resilience
Two EBRD climate resilience project proposals for the modernisation of a hydropower plant in Tajikistan and an irrigation scheme in Morocco have been approved for co-financing by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) today.
The total project volume for the two projects is US$ 415 million, of which US$ 81 million will be provided by the GCF in the form of concessional loans and grants:
- In Tajikistan the EBRD and other co-lenders are providing US$ 158 million for the climate-resilient upgrade of Qairokkum hydropower plant, with co-financing of US$ 50 million from the GCF.
- Under the Morocco Saïss Water Conservation Project the EBRD and partners are extending US$ 207 million for irrigation infrastructure that will protect agricultural production from the impacts of climate change with a co-financing grant contribution of €32 million from the GCF, together with a further €54 million contribution from the Kingdom of Morocco.
Craig Davies, EBRD Head of Climate Resilience Investments, said: “These investments will strengthen the climate resilience of critical infrastructure in both countries, foster greater private sector involvement and benefit key sectors in both countries. The EBRD believes that successful economies should be competitive, green, well-governed, inclusive, resilient and integrated.”
In Tajikistan, the modernisation of the Qairokkum hydropower plant will address the energy security needs of 2.4 million people in the northern Sughd region in the face of increasing climatic variability. GCF support will enable best international practices on climate risk management to be introduced to the Tajik hydropower sector.
More reliable and climate-resilient energy generation will address the frequent electricity blackouts which are severely harming the economy of Tajikistan, a country where hydropower sources are responsible for 98 per cent of electricity generation.
Extensive cooperation between the EBRD, the Tajik authorities and international experts involved detailed climatic and hydrological studies, which informed the design of the Qairokkum project. This led to the selection of turbine, spillway and dam safety monitoring equipment that is designed to cope with the projected increasing variability in climatic conditions in the Syr Darya river basin.
In response to climate change, the Morocco Saïss Water Conservation Project will improve the climate resilience of the country’s highly vulnerable agriculture sector. This will be achieved with a transformative water transfer scheme that will deliver more than 100 million cubic metres of irrigation water to the Saïss plain each year, thus enabling a switch from highly unsustainable groundwater to the use of sustainable surface water resources, as well as improving access to best-practice and efficient irrigation techniques.
The investment will also bolster community involvement in water governance by scaling up technical skills and institutional capacities and promoting private sector involvement in the adoption of improved, modern irrigation infrastructure and equipment. This will increase the efficiency of water use and services and promote drip irrigation and modern water demand management methods, strengthening the capacity for climate change adaptation in the Sebou-Saïss basin.
The coupling of EBRD financing with the support of the GCF presents significant scope and opportunities for scaling up further such GCF investments in the countries where the EBRD invests.
The GCF is a unique global initiative responding to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. It was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the impacts of climate change.