Malige said closer attention to climate risks and their impact on investments – green or otherwise – must be part of sound banking practices. The EBRD banker added: “We now have a rare opportunity to support a post-pandemic recovery that also drives the low-carbon transition and builds resilience to the physical risks brought about by climate change. “We do not protect the environment only by switching to low-energy lightbulbs or choosing a hybrid or electric car but also by investing consciously,” he said.   CNB Governor Boris Vujcic said banks could have a pronounced positive influence if they were to finance environmentally friendly projects and make green investments. “Preventing the spread of climate change will require enormous amounts of capital,” said Francis Malige, EBRD managing director, Financial Institutions. With a clearer understanding of the climate-related challenges, he said, it becomes much easier to recognise the investment opportunities. This experience is applicable to the global crisis of climate change, which is also affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of traditional business models, with many livelihoods becoming increasingly vulnerable,” he said. A consequence of these developments is the realisation that it is crucial not only to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, but also to “build back better”. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the global economy, Malige stressed: “We have learned from the pandemic the enormous impact that global threats can have. “The entire financial sector must have an aligned approach to financing the needs of the real economy if we are to have any hope of achieving a net-zero-carbon world by 2050,” he added. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>EU to help Croatian finance sector in greening the economy

By New Europe Online/KG

EBRD

EBRD, Croatian National Bank to tackle economic vulnerabilities exposed by COVID-19

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Croatian National Bank (CNB) have agreed to help the country’s financial institutions in addressing climate change by mobilising financing and appraising climate risk. Accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis, green investments have now become a necessity, not a ‘nice-to-have’.”
The EBRD and the CNB agree that business strategies need to take climate risks into account in order to make businesses more robust and resilient to climate change.

US and EU react 
After the rumblings across the region over the document reached a significant volume, reactions from Washington and Brussels became unavoidable. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Slovenia provokes with non-paper supporting Balkan partitions

By Alec Mally
Director for Global Economic Affairs at IPEDIS

Slovenian Ministry of foreign Affairs

By Eric Bréchemier from Paris, France – Ljubljana, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php

Nebulous non-paper suggesting partitions in Bosnia and Kosovo draws sharp criticism from US and EU

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A non-paper purported to be of Slovenian authorship has drawn increasing attention over the last weeks that it has been circulating because it appears to treat territorial changes in Southeastern Europe as part of an ultimate solution to the region’s lingering ethnic conflicts.  
The US State Department issued a rather unusual press release on April 26 entitled “US Commitment to the Western Balkans” which covers a grab bag of issues, and at first glance would not be seen as a reaction to the non-paper news stories.  
Document of unknown origin
The true source of the document may well remain a mystery, but regional media last week attributed the paper to Janez Jansa, Prime Minister of Slovenia, who quickly denied this, as other senior Slovenian officials continue to do. Is there more substance to it than just the standard pattern of sensationalist regional journalists and Balkan-monitoring NGOs competing in a region-wide “echo chamber” to go on and generate increasingly scandalous stories/blogs about this mysterious document? Because Slovenia is scheduled to join the rotating EU Council presidency “trio” in the second half of 2021, the simple hint of Slovenian authorship bolsters the status of the document.   There is still no available evidence that the non-paper represents the thinking of serious or influential persons. “As we have seen, recent unwarranted speculation about changing borders in the Balkans along ethnic lines risks fostering instability in the region and evokes memories of past tensions.  
What is harder to understand is why this document has continued to gather energy and attract attention across the region instead of moving briskly to the deletion bin. However, the final paragraph holds the core message and explains the rationale for this press statement. Montenegrin President Milo Dukanovic described the document this way “it is a dangerous thing, it has been offered by someone who wants a war to happen as soon as possible.”
Difficult to take seriously
At first glance, the paper appears to be so out of focus that it is easy to consider it as either some low-level policy planning official off his/her daily medications, or a quasi-sophisticated attempt at destabilizing the region through disinformation by anyone’s choice of malign actors. At least those were the options this author initially considered when the non-paper landed in New Europe’s daily feed early in April. Various regional leaders happily increased the confusion about the document. This so-called non-paper proposes the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina along ethnic lines, joining the territories majority populated by Serbs and Croats to Serbia and Croatia respectively, as well as the unification of Kosovo and Albania minus Kosovo’s Serbian-populated segments. A stable, prosperous future for the Western Balkans must be based on good governance, rule of law, multi-ethnic democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.” 
Full text here: 
https://www.state.gov/u-s-commitment-to-the-western-balkans/
In addition to numerous tweets from a range of EU officials, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer repeated the well known EU mantra on anything related to territorial swaps and border changes, “We are absolutely not in favor of any changes in borders.” 
  Just re-elected Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama claimed he had seen the document, while President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, denied reading it.

“We plan to receive the results of the technical and economic assessment of the project and the primary design documentation by the end of 2021, after which we will be able to make the most efficient decision on the volume of hydrogen production. This will contribute to development of the low carbon industry in the Sakhalin region. “It is located completely on islands, has rich resource potential and successfully neighbors with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The Government of the Sakhalin Region is doing a lot to improve the business climate in the region. All this creates special conditions for business development and gives advantages for the implementation of a number of investment projects. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Rosatom, Air Liquide and Sakhalin Region ink MoU for low carbon hydrogen cooperation

By New Europe Online/KG

Facilities of French industrial gas producer Air Liquide. “This cooperation for decarbonised growth contributes to the objectives of the Sakhalin region to reach carbon neutrality by 2025. Sakhalin Region Governor Valery Limarenko said his region is a unique sub-federal unit of Russia. This is a first step and we are ready to contribute to an efficient and sustainable industry through Air Liquide’s unique technological know-how and innovative solutions to support the energy transition ambition of the Russian Federation”. We will be glad to welcome Rosatom and Air Liquide as potential investors if they decide to implement this project on the island. It is expected that the production rate can range from 30 to 100 thousand tons per year,” he said. Rusatom Overseas President Evgeny Pakermanov noted that in the future, the creation of a complex for the production of low-carbon hydrogen on the island of Sakhalin opens up opportunities for its export to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. “We are delighted to explore this energy transition opportunity in cooperation with Rusatom Overseas and the Sakhalin region,” Air Liquide General Director in Russia Marilene Turcotte said. Today, the Sakhalin Region is becoming a platform for an experiment to achieve carbon neutrality,” he said. We have minimized administrative barriers: we have reduced the time for issuing building permits, registering enterprises, registering real estate objects,” he said, adding that the signed memorandum confirms the Sakhalin Region’s readiness for close and mutually beneficial cooperation.   AIR LIQUIDE

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Rusatom Overseas, a subsidiary of Russian state atomic corporation Rosatom, France’s Air Liquide, a leading industrial gas producer, and the Sakhalin region government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding stipulating the cooperation for a feasibility study that will explore the possibility of the development of low carbon hydrogen production in the Sakhalin region, Rosatom said in a press release. The MOU is a first step in fostering the development of a hydrogen economy targeting applications in both the domestic and overseas markets. “We plan to launch new investment projects, which, among other things, will contribute to solving this problem.