The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a €2 million agreement funded by E5P under which UNDP will support selected Ukrainian cities in benefiting from EIB’s Ukraine Public Buildings Energy Efficiency (UPBEE) Programme, a €300 million EIB framework loan with Ukraine aimed at financing thermal renovations of public buildings as well as war damage repairs and adaptations to buildings to ensure they better suit the needs of internally displaced people and host communities.
The agreement signed for UNDP advisory support is funded by a €2 million grant from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P). The E5P Fund for Ukraine stands at €175 million provided by the European Union, as the largest contributor, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States. Overall, the UPBEE programme is supported by substantial grants of €4 million from E5P for both technical assistance and investments and €5 million for technical assistance from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Platform.
Under the agreement, UNDP and the EIB will strengthen the capacity of Ukrainian local governance — approximately 300 Ukrainian municipalities, local state administrations, bodies of local self-government and communal enterprises — and make sure sub-projects are constructed rapidly. In particular, UNDP will support the Ukrainian municipalities during all phases of the sub-project cycle, including the review of energy audits, technical design, tender documents, procurement, monitoring, sanctions screening and commissioning.
EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “By signing this new agreement with UNDP, we are supporting the efforts of Ukrainian cities to refurbish social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and sports centres, making them more energy-efficient and future-proof. The importance of this work has rarely been more salient as Russia targets its aggression — without regard for human lives — at critical Ukrainian energy infrastructure.”
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is responsible for operations in Ukraine, said: “This agreement will accelerate the reconstruction of Ukraine and make life easier for the country’s internally displaced people. It will also help Ukraine and its public sector benefit further from energy savings and help the country progress towards energy independence from fossil fuels. It is the fastest and most effective way to cut gas imports and bills. As the EU bank and a member of Team Europe, we are delighted to cooperate with UNDP and make a meaningful impact on the quality of daily life in Ukraine. Activities like these will help Ukraine recover from Russian aggression faster and continue to grow and develop as it works towards its membership in the European Union.”
UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said: “UNDP and the EIB share a longstanding history of close cooperation across the globe. Building upon our work together in Ukraine — which has included vital efforts to rebuild hospitals and schools — and our continued commitment and readiness to support the government’s crisis response efforts, this expanded partnership will help more municipalities across the country put in place the foundations for a sustainable recovery and reconstruction. This includes repairing damaged infrastructure, increasing the energy efficiency of public buildings and adapting them to the specific needs of people displaced by the war and host communities — ultimately helping Ukraine to shape a green, climate-resilient future with increased energy security at its core. Even amidst war, development cannot wait, nor can the people of Ukraine wait.”
Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine Oleksiy Chernyshov said: “The implementation of European practices regarding energy efficiency policy is one of the key priorities of Ukraine. Increasing the energy efficiency of public buildings has been and will remain an important element of improving Ukraine’s energy security. On behalf of the Ukrainian government, I would like to thank the EIB and UNDP for their continued cooperation and the upcoming advisory support for Ukrainian municipalities in preparing high-quality energy efficiency projects which can be further financed under the EIB’s Ukraine Public Buildings Energy Efficiency Programme. We are looking forward to launching the first call for proposals under this programme in order for municipalities to submit their proposals related to the thermo-modernisation or renovation of kindergartens, schools, health buildings and hosting centres for displaced people. We want to reconstruct Ukraine with the highest energy efficiency standards. In the place of every destroyed or damaged building, we will build a modern, safe and energy-efficient one.”
Stronger partnership for energy efficiency renovations in Ukraine
The agreement between UNDP and the EIB was signed in Berlin during the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernisation of Ukraine. The conference, hosted by the German G7 Presidency and the European Commission, is an important milestone demonstrating the unwavering support for Ukraine from the European Union, the G7 and the international community.
The partnership agreement will help Ukraine increase energy efficiency, restore the most critical damaged infrastructure and contribute towards green, resilient, and inclusive recovery and reconstruction.
The EIB-UNDP cooperation stems from the memorandum of understanding on a joint approach to global challenges and knowledge sharing in areas such as climate change and crisis response signed in 2016.
The two organisations have cooperated on a number of projects, including the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme, which followed the first Russian aggression in Ukraine in 2014, resulting in the reconstruction and renovation of about 240 municipal and social infrastructure projects such as schools, kindergartens, hospitals and social housing.