On 11 December, at the 25th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25), the VEB Group held a session on a green approach to urban sustainability. The delegation was headed by VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairman Cesare Ragaglini.
The session was opened by Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Mikhail Rasstrigin, speaking about Russia’s main climate change initiatives.
Cesare Ragaglini told the audience about the new role of VEB.RF as a coordinator of development institutions and VEB.RF’s new priorities in urban development, noted the significance of VEB.RF’s involvement in Russian national projects and underlined that they were consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
According to Ragaglini, VEB.RF shares international concern about climate change. “Russia is a party to the Paris Agreement, ratified in September 2019. In the issue of climate change, countries are so interdependent that any green initiatives in one country will be of benefit to the entire global community,” he said.
VEB.RF’s representatives also emphasised the importance of adopting a practical approach to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. In this connection, Cesare Ragaglini mentioned that a high proportion of projects approved by VEB.RF in 2016–2018 met the green project financing criteria of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC). Additionally, VEB.RF’s representatives described the programme to implement the Environmental Protection national project and presented VEB.RF’s participation in the project worth 155 billion roubles to build energy-from-waste plants in the Moscow Region.
The session also noted that the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 could not be attained without the adequate development of urban areas, which are home to most people in the world. In this context, DOM.RF presented the results of its efforts to develop and test-operate the Urban Environment Quality Index and the Integrated Territorial Development Standards based on international best practices.
The session took place at the pavilion of the International Development Finance Club. VEB.RF has been actively involved with IDFC since its inception in 2011. The IDFC members are 26 national and regional development banks from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. IDFC traditionally focuses its efforts on the global issues of climate change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
About COP 25
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in May 1992 and entered into force in March 1994. The parties to the UNFCCC are currently more than 180 countries, including Russia, taking joint action to mitigate climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The signatory nations (Russia signed the UNFCCC in 1994) agreed to implement national climate change programmes, carry out studies and report on their findings.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement signed by 195 UNFCCC members in 2015 to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and curb the increase in global average temperature as part of efforts to reduce global warming.
VEB.RF and Gazprombank to Participate in Creating Russia’s Track & Trace System
The financial institutions will give a syndicated loan totalling 24.2 billion roubles.
VEB.RF, Gazprombank and Operator-CRPT (a subsidiary of the Center for Research in Perspective Technologies (CRPT)) have signed a syndicated loan agreement for 24.2 billion roubles. The loan will be provided through the Project Financing Factory to finance the project to create the Chestny ZNAK track & trace system.
The project is structured as a public-private partnership between CRPT and the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. The agreement is the first PPP in information technology and the first federal-level PPP in Russia.
CRPT shareholders will invest more than 220 billion roubles in creating and developing the system over 15 years, with a payback period of seven or more years. This will enable the government to achieve its goals of combating the grey economy and counterfeit goods without budgetary financing.
The syndicated loan is limited to a total of 24.2 billion roubles, with VEB.RF’s commitment of 8.7 billion roubles and Gazprombank’s commitment of 15.5 billion roubles.
“This project is important for the transparent operation of the entire consumer goods sector. Its implementation will make it possible to formulate equal and fair rules for commerce. Consumers will receive reliable protection and will be assured that they buy things coming through distribution channels authorised by the original manufacturer or trademark owner,” VEB.RF’s First Deputy Chairman – Member of the Management Board Nikolay Tsekhomsky said.
“Signing the syndicated loan agreement with Gazprombank and VEB.RF made it possible to achieve financial closure in Russia’s first federal-level public-private partnership project. The project will result in building the Russian track & trace system in important sectors such as the production and sale of pharmaceuticals, milk and consumer goods, as well as substantially reducing the sale of counterfeits,” Gazprombank’s Deputy Chairman of the Management Board Alexey Belous commented.
“We have already created the track & trace system with more than 6 billion unique digital codes for cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, furs and footwear. The number of product categories increased on 1 December, and the system will continue to develop next year. Cooperation with VEB.RF and Gazprombank will improve the operator’s financial flexibility in the next 18 months and create the conditions for the accelerated introduction of new product groups, including dairy products intended for the ultimate consumer,” CRPT’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Mikhail Dubin said.
The project to build the Russian end-to-end track & trace system is scheduled for completion in 2014, covering a wide range of goods. The existing system is used for tobacco products, certain pharmaceutical products, fur coats, tyres, footwear and perfumes. Starting from January 2020, the system will include all pharmaceuticals. As from June 2020, inclusion on the track & trace system will be mandatory, including for dairy products.