Nordic Countries Increase Green Energy Funding in the Mekong Region

Finland will double its support for green energy projects in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia from 4.9 mil. Euro to 9.1 mil. Euro. Finnish Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Mrs. Sirpa Mäenpää, made the announcement on 31 January 2012 at the 2nd Regional Annual Forum of The Energy and Environment Partnership Programme in the Mekong Region (EEP Mekong) held in Bangkok.


Ambassador Sirpa Mäenpää said the programme had been approved for another three year period and that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has budgeted Euro 9.1 m for the 2013 – 2016 extension.


At the forum, also the Nordic Development Fund confirmed the extension of the program and its intend to provide the additional funds.


The Energy and Environment Partnership Programme was launched in 2009 by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland with support from NDF, the Nordic Development Fund, also sponsored by Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. During the first phase of the programme that runs till this year the donors have allocated a budget of Euro 7,9 million. To date, more than thirty projects in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have benefited from the funds.


The Forum in Bangkok was held for project managers, equipment suppliers, NGO’s and financiers to find ways to overcome the common challenge to find funds to carry through promising projects that – if successful – may be copied by others and implemented elsewhere in the region.


“Positive results cannot be sustained without resources”, the ambassador pointed out being pleased to see that EEP Forum is touching on this important issue.


Focus of the conference is to engage government experts from all four Mekong countries, NGOs and private sectors companies – project developers, equipment suppliers, financiers and others – in dealing with energy and environment issues and clean energy projects financing in combining traditional and new financing instruments.


Mr. Hannu Eerola, Country Programme Manager of the Nordic Development Fund said in his address to the forum delegates on Wednesday that further NDF finance instruments are also available.


“The Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) is a possible instrument of funding challenging and innovative climate change approaches”, Mr. Eerola says.


“NCF might be beneficial to both the projects in the sector of climate change and the donor countries, as the instrument is facilitating the exchange of technology, know-how and innovative ideas between the Nordic countries and the countries of the Mekong Region.”


This instrument will increase the abilities of the Mekong Region countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change. And further, as Mr. Eerola points out, this way of funding will contribute to sustainable development and reduction of poverty.


“We have already seen positive results of NCF as a funding mechanism in South America,” Mr. Eerola added.


Interested project developers may inquire whether their projects are eligible for funding by contacting Dr. Ludovic Lacrosse, Chief Technical Advisor of the Regional Office of the EEP Mekong in Bangkok. E-mail : eepmekong@eepmekong.org

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