The Western Balkans Green Center acts on the initiatives to be key priorities for both climate policy and regional cooperation. Although the Western Balkans region tends to be crowded with many instruments and sources of funding for climate related action, their effective utilization requires a three pillars approach: first, the generation of a strong portfolio or prepared bankable projects; second, the creation of a dedicated investment fund able to mobilize resources and connect with the right initiatives, and third, the establishment of an institution addressing effective implementation of policies through a solid group of expert experience. Our mission builds on the combined realization of these pillars.
Investment Preparation by the Green Center
Though financial resources and political will are crucial for regional development, to achieve efficient and effective mobilization and implementation, there is a strong need for a reliable and sound project pipeline. In December 2018, the Hungarian government, recognizing this gap and the development needs and potential of the Western Balkans region, approved a concept on two major correlated initiatives: a dedicated institution and an investment fund focusing on the green transformation of the region. In 2019, the Western Balkans Green Center under the supervision of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology became operational to contribute to the region’s climate protection efforts in line with the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) set forth in the Paris Agreement on climate, supporting the green transformation of their economies through grants supporting technology export by Hungarian companies.
Investment by the Green Fund
The establishment of the Green Center is the first step towards a regional Green Investment Fund with adequate resources and a diverse set of financial instruments for project financing. The goal of the Green Fund is to finance the implementation of projects prepared by the Green Center and other development partners. The Green Fund’s objective is to catalyze private sector investments in the Western Balkans through the development of projects that generate return on investments, by strengthening climate cooperation among donors in the region and address some of the main challenges associated with climate finance and international development in the Western Balkans.
Green Transition by the Center of Excellence
The EU’s provision of assistance towards candidate and potential candidate countries remains strong, and regulatory convergence and alignment of legislation with the EU acquis are a crucial part of all dimensions of the EU integration process. Although all Western Balkans enlargement countries have achieved some level of performance, there are considerable needs in terms of such alignment and the improvement of administrative capacities at both government and local level. The Center of Excellence in Green Transition will help speed up convergence processes and strengthen efforts to fight climate change. Serving as a focal point, it will mobilize European knowledge and expertise in relevant legislation and administration to transfer via technical assistance and twinning projects, as well as other thematic actions. Connecting government and private sector experts, it will also help local banks and financial institutions develop their sustainability frameworks and regulations such as EU taxonomy for sustainable activities.