One of the key priorities of the Eastern Partnership and Central Asia countries is to support the transition to cleaner, affordable, and more sustainable energy. This is expected to make the region less exposed to external risks and to bolster the countries' resilience by reducing energy imports and thus dependency, while also helping them to achieve their climate goals. Promotion of energy efficiency also leverages innovative technologies and products which stimulates investments, growth and jobs.
Energy connectivity and sustainable energy are important elements of energy security as identified at the Riga Summit in 2015. This is further emphasised in the EU's Joint Staff Working Document “Eastern Partnership – Focusing on key priorities and deliverables”, which focuses on energy efficiency, enhanced use of renewable energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. It is expected that this issue will figure prominently at the next Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2017.
In 2016, the European Commission proposed an ambitious External Investment Plan (EIP) to encourage investment in the partner countries in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood region, to strengthen the partnerships and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, helping addressing some root causes of migration. Part of the EIP is the new European Fund for Sustainable Development as an integral financing mechanism to support investments by public financial institutions and the private sector. The EIP is more than just a new financial instrument it is rather a new approach to linking policy dialogue, technical assistance, and finance.
This paper is prepared by the OECD Secretariat in order to facilitate the discussion at the International Conference on "Unlocking private finance for green investments" which will take place on 29-30 June 2017 in Brussels. The main objective of the Conference is to take stock of recent initiatives, policy developments and financial vehicles in the six Eastern Neighbourhood Partner countries and Central Asia that support government efforts to shift towards a greener and more energy efficient path of economic development.
The paper, as well as the conference, are part of the EU-funded "Greening the economies of Eastern Partnership Countries" (EaP GREEN) project, implemented by the OECD in conjunction with its partners UNECE, UN Environment and UNIDO. This work is also supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.