Efficient fund management and project implementation
NEFCO was established after the collapse of the Soviet Union in order to support the Nordic countries in their efforts to increase environmental awareness in Eastern and Central Europe through the financing of projects to reduce the amount of harmful emissions to the environment. The reasoning was that it made more sense – financially speaking – to support new investments in line with the environmental priorities of the Nordic countries in Eastern Europe – adjacent to the Baltic Sea – compared with the rising marginal cost of introducing increasingly stringent requirements at home, since pollutants do not recognise national borders. Cost-efficiency remains a hallmark of all of NEFCO’s activities.
While fulfilling the above initial mission, NEFCO has during the last 29 years developed an extensive network within the green community and a proven ability to connect stakeholders to relevant projects. As a result, NEFCO has over the years attracted a number of fund management assignments, in particular related to climate, the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and the Barents regions.
Arctic and Barents
We work with environmental issues and projects in the Arctic and the Barents Regions. Since 2003, NEFCO has for instance funded technical assistance to improve the environmental status of so-called Hot Spots in the Russian Barents Region through the Barents Hot Spots Facility.
In 2014, the Arctic Council Project Support Instrument became operational under NEFCO management. The Instrument supports the work of the Arctic Council and provides funding for pollution mitigation and biodiversity-related projects approved by the Arctic Council working groups.
The Programme for Environment and Climate Co-operation is a call-for-proposal-based financing scheme that provides grant financing for co-operation projects between Nordic and Northwest Russian non-commercial partners to mutually benefit the environment and climate at regional and local levels. The first round of funding under this facility was launched in 2017 and a new second round is expected to be launched during the second half of 2019.
The ecological state of the Baltic Sea has from the start and is still today one of NEFCO’s main priorities. Since the establishment in 1990, NEFCO has actively been engaged in and invested its own funds for upgrading wastewater treatment plants in the Baltic Sea catchment area and reducing discharges from the agricultural sector into the Baltic Sea.
In addition, we also finance project preparation and technical assistance through the Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund. The Fund can provide grant based financing to projects that address the various environmental challenges and problems facing the Baltic Sea, with a particular focus on combatting eutrophication.
NEFCO is involved in a number of activities focused at combating climate change globally and is managing several funds, which particularly address measures aimed at reducing climate change.
In Eastern Europe
In Ukraine NEFCO works through several initiatives with both energy efficiency, renewable energy and district heating investments funded by Finland, Norway and Sweden.
- Facility for Energy Saving Credits
- Finland-Ukraine Trust Fund
- Nordic Initiative for Energy Efficiency and Humanitarian Support – Ukraine
- Norway-Ukraine Energy Efficiency Initiative
- Sweden-Ukraine District Heating Fund
NEFCO has recently been assigned as fund manager for a new facility, Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa. The aim of this facility is to accelerate access to affordable and modern energy for people living in rural and peri-urban areas by building up a market for off-grid electricity solutions. Sweden is funding this initiative, but the facility is open to other like-minded donors.
On emerging markets
Through the initiative Nordic Initiative for Cooperative Approaches NEFCO works together with the Nordic countries on supporting sustainable development and climate action in developing countries and promoting carbon pricing.
NEFCO was a very early starter in the project-based carbon market and has since 2003 managed a number of carbon funds, including the NEFCO Carbon Fund and the NEFCO Norwegian Carbon Procurement Facility.
NEFCO also supports the implementation and up-scaling of Nordic environmental technologies and climate solutions on global markets.
The Nordic Project Fund (Nopef) finances feasibility studies related to green growth and sustainable development in a country outside EU/Efta for Nordic small and medium-sized companies.
As a second step NEFCO offers financing to Nordic companies who successfully have established themselves abroad for green growth investments through the NEFCO Global financing scheme. The purpose of this financing instrument is to enable Nordic small and medium-sized companies within the environmental and climate sectors to invest in and develop business activities on international markets where growth opportunities have been identified.