lovro kuščević.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Regional Network of the World Green Building Council (WGBC) signed in Zagreb on Wednesday an agreement on understanding and cooperation in sustainable building projects in which Croatia will have an important role in Europe.

Croatia will be one of the key states in EBRD activities for green or sustainable building, energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions, EBRD Property and Tourism Director Claudia Pendred said after the signing at the 12th international real estate conference.

The two-day event brought together 400 Croatian and foreign participants. Construction and Physical Planning Minister Lovro Kuscevic attended the opening of the conference and the signing of the agreement.

WGBC Regional Director for Europe James Drinkwater, who co-signed the agreement, said green building was a big global movement in which Croatia had a very important role in the region and in Europe, which is why they chose to sign the agreement in Zagreb. The agreement is a framework for support of sustainable property development in the 16 European states in which the EBRD and the WGBC are active.

As part of the cooperation, they agreed an action plan for this year in which Croatia is the first state with which they will work together, including cooperation in the financing of Croatia's strategy for energy-efficient buildings through the Build Upon project, which is part of a broader European project from the Horizon 2000 programme.

The EBRD will contribute to increasing the offer of modern, energy-efficient and commercial properties in the region and the 36 countries it is active in with a view to increasing its green financing to around 40 percent by 2020, said Pendred and Vlaho Kojevic of the EBRD.

The EBRD director for Croatia and Slovenia Vedrana Jelusic Kasic said the EBRD had invested EUR 380 million in green and energy efficiency projects in Croatia, greatly contributing to energy saving and lower carbon emissions over the past two years. At the end of 2015, the EBRD earmarked EUR 60 million for energy efficiency projects in Croatia, she added.

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