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World Bank green lights $1 bln loan for Colombia’s energy transition

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BOGOTA — The World Bank Board on Tuesday approved $1 billion in financing for Colombia to help the country accelerate its energy transition, promote sustainable land use, and build resilience in the face of climate change, it said in a statement.

The loan will support a reform program to assist Colombia’s moves to lower its carbon emissions, particularly in the energy and transport sectors, including by increasing non-conventional renewable energy production output and developing a green hydrogen industry, the World Bank added.

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“Today we reached a great milestone in Colombia’s relationship with the multilateral bank with this approving of the largest budget support operation in the country’s history,” Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo said in the same statement.

The loan has a 20-year term, with a three-and-a-half year grace period, and will be disbursed this year, a ministry official told Reuters.

In addition, the financing will help pay for budget items this year and next, the official added.

The reform program will also push sustainable land use, particularly in Colombia’s moorland paramos, encourage sustainable livestock rearing and accelerate a land registry to help tackle deforestation.

“This operation supports Colombia’s strong commitment to address climate change through policy reforms aimed at sustainable, resilient, and low-carbon development,” Mark Thomas, World Bank director for Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela, said in the statement. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra, Writing by Oliver Griffin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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