International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will advise the city of Belgrade on ways to improve the energy efficiency of public buildings in the Serbian capital, helping to make social housing, hospitals, and schools better places to live and work.
Under Belgrade’s Smart City strategy, IFC will use various strategies and tools such as energy audits to identify opportunities related to buildings, district heating, street lighting, and other urban infrastructure. IFC will also help create a plan for phasing in investments and improvements.
“The city of Belgrade is deeply committed to solving environmental and energy-efficiency-related problems,” said Belgrade Mayor Siniša Mali. “Working with IFC will ensure that we are implementing the best possible solutions that will benefit the citizens of Belgrade while also serving as an example for other cities in Serbia and the region.”
IFC already advises the city of Belgrade on structuring and implementing public private partnerships to improve waste management and wastewater treatment as part of IFC’s Cities Initiative. The initiative helps municipalities, utilities, and companies collaborate on pressing infrastructure needs. IFC has invested about $10 billion in city-related projects and managed $260 million in municipal advisory projects in recent years, spanning more than 60 countries.
“Cities generate more than 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which makes sustainable urban infrastructure a powerful tool against climate change,” said Nena Stoiljković, IFC Vice President for Global Client Services. “Investments in energy efficiency and green buildings also make smart business, and we will be identifying potential financing structures with banks for financing new or upgraded green buildings.”
Serbia became a shareholder and member of IFC in 2001. Since then, IFC’s long-term investments in Serbia have totaled $2.1 billion, including $795 million mobilized from its partners, in 52 projects across a variety of sectors. In addition, IFC has supported trade flows of $175 million through its trade finance program. Its committed investment portfolio in Serbia as of 30 June 2016 was $285 million. In fiscal year 2016, IFC invested $69 million in Serbia.
IFC’s priorities in Serbia include agribusiness, climate change, and improvements in the investment climate. IFC is also focusing its investment services on increasing access to finance by supporting the development of local financial institutions, especially those that concentrate on SMEs. IFC’s advisory services aim to improve the investment climate and the performance of private sector companies, and to attract private sector participation in the development of infrastructure projects.
Photo credits: IFC, StudioB