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Washington, D.C., June 26, 2009 - The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a program which will help reduce greenhouse gases and promote clean energy use in Benin.
The program, supported by a US $1.82 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant (about CFAF 900 million), seeks to improve energy services in urban areas for customers that already have access to electricity in Benin in the following ways:
· disseminating 350,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in the market in order to reduce peak demand and energy consumption;
· introducing a regulatory and labeling system for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and individual air conditioning units, so consumers have access to efficient and high-quality products
· promoting energy efficiency through capacity building, information, and awareness building.
The new approved project is part of the Increased Access to Modern Energy Project (DAEM) totaling US$70 that will be submitted shortly to the Board of Directors, which aims to update Benin’s electricity infrastructure.
“Under this innovative program, GEF funds will play a catalytic role in expanding modern energy services in Benin," said Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility. "Consumers will now have a strong incentive to make smart and efficient choices that will save money while generating important global environmental benefits such as lowering greenhouse gases and conserving energy,"
The GEF unites 178 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. The GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $8.3 billion in grants and leveraging $33.7 billion in co-financing for over 2,200 projects in over 165 countries.
The World Bank is one of GEF’s implementing agencies, and supports countries in preparing GEF co-financed projects and supervises their implementation. It plays the primary role in the development and management of investment projects. The World Bank draws upon its operational experience in eligible countries to promote investment opportunities and mobilize private sector, bilateral, multilateral, government, and non-government sector resources for interventions that are consistent with GEF objectives and national sustainable strategies.