The EBRD and EIB have agreed to establish a new fund to generate carbon credits from projects across the high energy intensity countries of central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Multilateral Carbon Credit Fund (MCCF), which should be operational within the coming months, will enable registered public and private sector participants to buy carbon credits from emission reduction projects generated by both institutions. Sovereign participants must be a shareholder of either the EBRD or EIB.

Typical projects will include industrial energy efficiency, fuel-switch, renewable energy (for example, biomass, wind and mini-hydro) and landfill gas extraction and utilisation projects across the MCCF region, which covers all 27 EBRD countries of operations, where the EIB also works extensively.

The negotiation, contracting and monitoring of carbon credit transactions will be outsourced to private ‘carbon managers’ selected on a competitive basis.

Speaking at the signing at the recent EBRD annual meeting in London, the bank’s president Jean Lemierre said the MCCF will help promote much-needed energy savings projects in the EBRD countries of operation while at the same time helping those countries and corporate companies purchasing carbon credits to meet their emissions reductions targets.

Philippe Maystadt, president of the EIB, said that, by improving the bankability and attractiveness of much-needed energy savings and carbon abatement projects, the sale of credits will help EBRD and EIB scale-up the financing of this type of projects in the region.

The EBRD and EIB together have a unique knowledge of the region, as well as a private project financing expertise in a region which has the potential to become one of the largest exporters of carbon credits due to its current high energy and carbon intensity, and therefore scope for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects.

A key strength of the MCCF is that the projects from which carbon credits will be sourced will be financed and appraised by either institution – or both if projects are cofinanced – in line with standard requirements for project viability and sustainability, integrity and corporate governance.