News

AFD is supporting low-carbon district heating in China

04/01/2016
AFD has supported three Chinese cities as part of its mandate to promote sustainable and low-carbon urban development. The aim is to improve the energy efficiency of their urban heating systems and thereby contribute to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

World’s second largest urban heating market
China is the world’s second largest urban heating market and the sector is experiencing very rapid development. However, heating networks are less efficient than in industrialized countries, with significant losses due to the outdated equipment and networks and insufficient investment.
This results in intensive energy consumption, which reaches 12% of the primary energy consumed.

Renovation of old and inefficient heating systems and networks
In Taiyuan and Jinzhong, in Shanxi Province, the projects financed by AFD have reached completion and the equipment is fully functional during this winter heating period.
In Jinan, the capital of Shandong, the project is currently reaching completion. The old and inefficient heating systems and networks have been renovated thanks to a total of EUR 100m of loans.

Quality of life, reduction of pollution and GHG emissions

The three projects promote technical innovation and efficient network management and have participated in the heating sector reform in China. They directly contribute to the fight against climate change: it is estimated that the replacement of small boilers in Taiyuan and Jinzhong, as well as the program for the renovation and extension of urban heating networks in Jinan, avoid the emission of 935,000 tons of CO2 a year.
They also lead to a significant reduction in very harmful local pollutant emissions: a total of over 4,570 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 9,755 tons of soot are no longer emitted.
The quality of life has been improved for residents with a better heating service and less polluted air.

Trigeneration and gas to replace coal
AFD’s Board of Directors has just approved a fourth project in the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province. It is planned to finance a trigeneration plant thanks to a EUR 20m loan. This natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant will generate electricity, steam, heating and cooling for companies, as well as commercial and residential buildings, in a high-tech development area in the north of Qingdao.
By replacing coal, this decentralized energy generation project will both sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with AFD’s Climate mandate, and significantly limit emissions of local air pollutants in a city which is part of China’s Pilot Low-carbon Cities initiative.



Agence Française de Développement’s 2014 Results: Over EUR 8 billion for a more equitable and more sustainable world

17/03/2015

Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, today presented the key figures for the activity in 2014 of the central actor in France’s Official Development Assistance. With EUR 8.1 billion of commitments, up 4%, AFD has achieved another historic year for its activities to support a more equitable and more sustainable world.

AFD’s mandate is central to the challenge of the coming years, which is to bring about new development models that ensure both the prosperity of the whole of the world’s population and preserve the planet. We contribute to this by tailoring our actions to the needs of partner countries”, explained Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD.

AFD is a public institution that implements France’s policy for development financing. It operates on four continents, in over 90 countries and in the French overseas territories, and works on a daily basis to meet its partners’ requirements. This results in investments in human capital, support for the private sector, financing for public transport projects, and assistance for the public policies of both governments and territorial authorities, in order to promote more equitable and more sustainable development trajectories.

AFD addresses the challenges of climate change, the impacts of which concern the entire planet, by showing on a daily basis that there are concrete solutions that reconcile climate and development. In 2014, 53% of AFD’s financing for development in developing countries generated positive impacts for the fight against climate change and 30% for PROPARCO, its private sector financing arm.


Concrete impacts

AFD’s actions bring about concrete impacts. Between 2012 and 2014, ongoing projects have:

  • Got 2 million children into primary and secondary school;
  • Improved housing for 2.3 million people;
  • Provided 2.7 million people with access to a sustainable source of drinking water;
  • Assisted the development of 246,000 small businesses;
  • Supported 771,000 family farms;
  • Preserved and sustainably managed 32 million hectares of natural spaces allowing biodiversity conservation.

 

 

Historic year for the climate: 53% of financing

In 2014, 53% of AFD’s financing for development in developing countries and almost 30% of its subsidiary PROPARCO’s financing for the private sector also had positive impacts on the fight against climate change as part of one of the most ambitious climate strategies among international development finance institutions, which was established at the request of the French Government. In 2014, it accounted for over EUR 2.8bn of financial commitments, including EUR 2.53bn for AFD. Since 2005, EUR 18bn have been earmarked by AFD for projects that reconcile development and climate.

 

 

 

 

 

AFD’s first climate bonds

For the first time, AFD has issued climate bonds with a 10-year maturity. They will finance projects that contribute to development, but also to the fight against climate change.
This EUR 1bn “climate” bond issue is the first of its kind conducted by a French public agency. It marks a new trend in the design of financial instruments to support the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Through its rigorous and innovative methodology, based on a systematic assessment of the carbon footprint of funded projects, AFD is seeking to demonstrate to financiers that it is possible to channel part of international finance towards “climate” assets.

 

 

Sub-Saharan Africa: Record commitments

In 2014, financing in Sub-Saharan Africa reached the record volume of EUR 2.95bn, i.e. 36.5% of AFD Group’s total financing (45% of financing in foreign countries). Through this strong commitment, which is in line with the objective set by the French President to provide EUR 20bn of financing to the continent by 2018, AFD aims to support the emergence of Africa in its growth trajectories. The projects supported by AFD provide access to essential services, develop sustainable cities, family farming, preserve natural resources, and build infrastructure and job-creating enterprises.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Crises: Specific intervention methods and tools

In Mali, the Central African Republic, Guinea… in countries in armed conflict or recently emerged from conflict, AFD has tailored its operating methods and tools to the specificity of these contexts. The aim is to be more responsive and work more effectively with the different partners and actors of emergency relief and development. Key projects in 2014 include:
Ebola: a new treatment center was set up in the Guinea Forest Region thanks to a EUR 5m grant via a Debt Reduction-Development Contract
Bêkou Fund: this fund, with EUR 64m at the end of 2014, was created on the initiative of AFD. It allows European donors to pool their financing in order to support the crisis management and subsequent post-crisis process in CAR. It aims to recreate essential services, contribute to economic development and promote stability in the country and sub-region.

 

 

►Summary of 2014 activity results



29/01/2015


AFD and CIRAD launch Climate Challenge, an international competition on agricultural and forestry innovation to address climate change

09/09/2014

Call for projects launched at Convergences World Forum on 8, 9 and 10 September 2014

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Cirad) have launched the first international competition « Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry », which promotes agricultural and forestry innovation to address climate change.

Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of AFD, and Michel Eddi, Chairman of CIRAD presented this competition on 9 September 2014 during the 7th edition of the Convergences World Forum, which gathers public, private and solidarity-based actors who are working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Agence Française de Développement and Cirad have launched the competition “Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry” because climate change poses a major challenge to agriculture and a threat to both world food security and poverty eradication. AFD is particularly active in supporting developing countries in the fight against climate change. For Cirad, the topic of climate change has been central to the research it has been conducting for over 15 years with its partners in the South, with the aim of adapting agriculture in these countries to this major constraint.

This international competition aims to promote innovation and fast track the transfer and dissemination of technologies and knowledge, which are essential in bringing about innovative solutions to be devised for the future. It will support the creativity and success of exemplary projects, led by candidates from Africa, the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and the French Overseas : individual actors, farmers’ organizations, financial institutions, actors from the economic and social sectors, local authorities and territories.

It highlights four categories of project :

  • Climate change mitigation in agriculture and livestock farming
  • Climate change mitigation in the forestry sector
  • Substitution and processing of agricultural and forestry products
  • Adaptation to climate change and water resources management

 

Projects must be submitted by 1 December 2014 on the website dedicated to the competition, www.challenge-climat.com, via the online application interface.

 

Innovation: A new approach to mobilizing actors

Technical, methodological and operational innovations that create new local dynamics, as well as actions to build inclusive economies, will be promoted. They allow actors and family farms to adapt their practices to climate change, while ensuring that their standard of living and quality of life improve.

 

150 preselected applications, 12 major projects selected, 4 award winners

150 of the projects submitted will be selected on the basis of the impact their innovation has on climate change, their feasibility, viability, and the possibility of replicating them, as well as their utility and overall coherence. A Selection Committee composed of experts from the development sector will select 12 major innovations, which will be transferred to the final jury.

« This competition provides an opportunity to mobilize and pool energies from the North and South for innovative methods that need to be implemented to support sustainable development. Agriculture and forestry are two key sectors. They are vectors of innovation to address climate change and provide solutions to the major challenge of world food security. It is for this reason that I am extremely pleased to launch Climate Challenge in partnership with Cirad » says Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer of Agence Française de Développement (AFD)..

« This competition provides the opportunity to promote innovations that have come about as a result of research on what we call ‘climate-smart agriculture’. These new agricultural practices should provide a response to the threefold challenge of food security, climate change adaptation, and the sustainable increase in production, by promoting the development of employment in rural areas. They are particularly vital for the future of family farming, but also for conceiving and building the world of tomorrow, based on the principles of sustainable development”, », points out Michel Eddi, Chairman of CIRAD..

 

Awards given by prestigious jury at 2015 International Agricultural Show

The 12 initiators of innovative projects will be invited to France to present their projects at the award ceremony, which will be held in Paris at the International Agricultural Show (21 February to 1 March 2015).

 

The final jury comprises personalities from the field of innovation and social and economic investment and include:

  • Brice Lalonde :Special Advisor on Sustainable Development to the UN Global Compact, former Under-Secretary General of the UN, former Secretary of State then Minister for the Environment from 1988 to 1992.
  • Navi Radjou : consultant in innovation in Silicon Valley, father of the concept of Jugaad and frugal innovation.
  • Ibrahima Coulibaly : Special Ambassador to the UN for the International Year of Family Farming, Vice-President ROPPA (Network of Farmers' and Agricultural Producers' Organizations of West Africa), President of CNOP (National Coordination of Farmers' Organizations in Mali).
  • Jean-Christophe Debar : Director of the FARM foundation (Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality).

 

For Brice Lalonde, President of the Jury: « Humanity is facing one of its greatest challenges: how to ensure development for all without harming the planet. Agriculture has a full role to play in this challenge and the solutions may well come from countries in the South, which have a proven creative force. So, I am proud to be contributing to bringing out solutions, via this challenge, that will allow us to feed the world, while protecting nature, the mother of future harvests. »

Find out more at :
Climate Challenge Agriculture and Forestry: www.challenge-climat.com
Le Cirad : www.cirad.fr
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI): www.diplomatie.gouv.fr



The French Development Agency in Beijing organizes events to aware young people on the preservation of biodiversity

12/06/2014

For the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China, and at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of AFD’s activities in China, AFD organized events for the youth in order to raise their awareness on biodiversity issues.

The pupils from the French International School in Beijing discovered the exhibition “34 Wonders of the World” realised in France for the 300th issue of “Terre Sauvage”, a magazine and presented in China for the first time on this occasion. This beautiful photography exhibition displays a panorama of our planet’s biodiversity. On May 30th, the grade six classes at the French School and a group of Chinese students from Xishiku primary school gathered around an interactive and didactic presentation on major biodiversity issues around a French expert from the consulting firm Biotope. They were shown the film “The green revival of Panjin” presenting the project implemented by AFD that consist in restorating the biggest wetland in the world in the Liaoning province.

In partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing, a meeting with students was organized on June 9th at the School of Environment. Students from Tsinghua University and from the Beijing Forestry University exchanged around the theme of biodiversity with Chinese and French experts. In an open discussion, the students debated with the experts on the issues and solutions implemented to protect the environment at a global and local level. Specific subjects such as the impact of big dams on aquatic biodiversity and the monetarisation of ecosystem services were discussed.

The exhibition « 34 Wonders of the World » and an exhibition illustrating the AFD project on the protection of biodiversity of wetlands in Panjin will both be presented to the public within the network of the Alliance Françaises in China; they are on display at the Xihai site of Alliance Française in Beijing until July 30th 2014.



 
 
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