The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested a record €2.5bn ($2.7bn) in Türkiye in 2023, the agency said today (25 January).

Part of the investment came in response to the country’s recovery and reconstruction needs following the devastating earthquake that hit central and southern Türkiye in February 2023 and killed over 50,000 people.

In addition to the €600m rolled out as part of the Disaster Response Framework, the EBRD has set aside money for infrastructure investments and to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

However, 58% of the investment went into green initiatives, as the government in Ankara is looking to transition away from the world’s 17th largest carbon emitter. According to the World Bank, 35% of the energy is generated by coal in Türkiye.

Alongside coal, the country’s economy relies on carbon-intensive sectors – such as steel, cement, aluminium, manufacturing, textile and agri-food – which are likely to be impacted by decarbonisation plans to reach net zero emissions in the upcoming decades.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD managing director for Türkiye, said: “The year 2023 was a very challenging one for Türkiye and its population given the magnitude committed to the country and, in addition to maintaining its usual priorities, was swift to deploy a comprehensive earthquake response plan aimed at preserving jobs, livelihoods and human capital in the affected region.

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“More needs to be done, and the Bank stands ready to continue contributing to reconstruction efforts and Türkiye’s economy in the years to come.”

Last year, the EBRD financed 48 projects across Türkiye’s territory – 91% of the money went into the private sector. This included €100m handed over to ING Türkiye and ING Leasing to step up access to green finance, as well as a €90m loan given to tyre manufacturer Brisa Bridgestone to fund the manufacture of low-carbon emission products.