Zagreb, Croatia [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a Renewable Energy Resources Project for the Republic of Croatia. The project is funded by a grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund of US$5.5 million with expected contributions from private commercial banks and project beneficiaries of about US$120 million equivalent.The overall objective of the project is to facilitate the creation of a market for renewable energy technologies in Croatia leading to cleaner energy use, creating local employment, and reducing Croatia’s dependence on energy imports. The project will increase the demand for, and supply of, renewable energy technologies and services. It will also encourage less polluting fuel use and improve air quality by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project will encourage private developers to develop and finance renewable energy initiatives. The World Bank’s assistance will support the Croatian government in developing appropriate secondary legislation, clear approval procedures, a framework for use of pollution tax receipts, and a pipeline of projects for investment. The Bank’s assistance will help the government in achieving its target of sourcing 4.5 percent of national electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2010. “The Renewable Energy Resources Project will contribute to sustainable, long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and help Croatia join modern industrialized nations in the efforts to reduce global pollutants,” said Anand K. Seth, the World Bank’s Country Director for Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the mechanism for providing new and additional grant and concessional funding to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures to achieve agreed global environmental benefits in the four focal areas – climate change; biological diversity; international waters; and ozone layer depletion. GEF also supports the work of the global agreements to combat desertification and eliminate persistent organic pollutants. The World Bank Group 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 ensuring the development and management of investment projects. The Bank draws upon its investment experience in eligible countries to promote investment opportunities and to mobilize private sector, bilateral, multilateral, and other government and non-government sector resources that are consistent with GEF objectives and national sustainable development strategies. Since 1991, the World Bank Group has committed $1.972 billion in GEF resources and $3.037 billion in Bank group co-financing for GEF projects in 80 counties. In addition to GEF and Bank resources, it has mobilized additional co-financing of $6.952 billion from other donors.