The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is contributing a €8 million loan to help improve energy efficiency in public buildings in Sarajevo, the bank said on July 29 while the EU is extending a €2 million grant for the refurbishment of 40 buildings in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The works are a priority project under the Green City Action Plan for the Sarajevo Canton.

According to the EBRD, the investments will cover 29 schools and related facilities, 6 kindergartens, 3 student dormitories and 2 outpatient clinics. The energy savings are estimated to be around 13.7 GWh and would result in 4,774 tonnes of CO2 savings annually. Energy efficiency measures will include the introduction of cleaner and more efficient heating, better insulation, better lighting and overall improvements.

EBRD head of Bosnia and Herzegovina Manuela Naessl noted that the proposed measures will not only make the buildings more comfortable for users and minimise the consumption of heat and electricity, but will also reduce air pollution in the city. “The EBRD is working with many partners, including the two entity governments, on measures to reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is still a long way to go but this is an important step in the right direction,” she said.

Sarajevo Canton joined EBRD Green Cities in February 2019. The framework is designed to help cities to articulate a sustainable development vision and their strategic objectives as well as define actions and investments necessary to address priority environmental issues. The network of Green Cities in the EBRD regions is growing rapidly and to date 43 cities have signed up to the initiative.

The city of Sarajevo, with a population estimated at 360,000, is the largest in the country. The Sarajevo Canton is the regional administrative district that includes the city of Sarajevo and surroundings and has a total population of around 450,000. Since it began operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, the EBRD has invested €2.6 billion in 180 projects in the country.

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