Promoting green finance within the portfolio
This September, the responsAbility-managed Climate Fund organized its second “Academy”, a global peer learning and networking event. The objective was to provide a platform to partner financial institutions worldwide to exchange among peers about emerging issues and challenges encountered when building green lending portfolios as well as sharing of success stories for potential replication.
Held between 11 and 14 September, 2018, in Horgen near Zurich, the Academy brought together practitioners and experts from emerging economies around the world to discuss emerging issues, challenges and tools in Green Lending.
Lessons in financing a greener economy: the Academy
"Out of 27 financial institutions represented, 17 already work with dedicated climate financing from the Fund", explained Eva Tschannen, who heads the Technical Assistance Facility related to the Fund which is charged with promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing economies. The Academy, held for the second time, is one of the Facility’s initiatives in the field.
“Supporting institutions with technical know-how is key to driving climate finance in the developing world.”
Eva Tschannen, Head Technical Assistance
"When we talk to financial institutions in developing countries about their interest in developing a green portfolio, most of them at first shy away from the idea because they feel they don’t have the necessary know-how", Eva Tschannen went on to add. "Supporting institutions with technical know-how and consultancy is key to driving climate finance in the developing world."
Over the four full days of the Academy, participants were invited to:
- Learn from like-minded financial institutions about success stories that could be replicated by their organization
- Learn from case studies and knowledge exchange with experts, explore ideas and concretize approaches for building their green lending portfolio
- Gain full understanding of practical tools and available advisory tailored for their institution to position itself in your market
- Generate ideas on how to further position their financial institution as leaders in green lending
“Going back home I will definitely set up a green lending team and implement our green lending strategy.”
Thu Ha Nguyen, TP Bank, Vietnam
Besides offering room for much sought-after peer exchange, the programme included input from external experts representing, among others, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Françoise D’Estais, Head of the Finance Unit of UNEP’s Energy, Climate and Technology Branch, explained the prominent role banks play when it comes to creating a greener economy, underlining that "Banks actually benefit from financing clean technologies."
Another presentation from a source not generally associated with combatting climate change sparked a lot of interest: Concawe, a division of the European Petroleum Refiners Association tasked with carrying our research on environmental issues relevant to the oil industry. Marta Yugo, Science Executive, Economics and Modelling, forecast that, while worldwide demand for oil-based products will rise, multiple technologies can actually help mitigate climate change – and will represent new financing opportunities in years to come.
“The refining industry can mitigate climate change by promoting clean technology and low-carbon fuels.”
David Mazaira, Carbon Impact Specialist, responsAbility
“The Academy is a wonderful opportunity to learn from like-minded institutions active in green lending.”
María José Agüero Lara, Banco Atlántida, Honduras
The last day of the programme took the participants for a visit to Grimselwelt and the impressive 392 MW Grimsel 2 hydropower plant high up in the Swiss mountains, presenting an opportunity to discover a unique underground world where the turbines produce hydroelectricity deep inside the solid granite mountains.
A visit to Grimselwelt hydropower in the Swiss mountains
“Some of our partners have multiple years of experience in the field. Others are just about to start the journey.”
Antoine Prédour, Head Energy Debt Financing, responsAbility
"We are more than pleased with the outcome of the event", said Antoine Prédour who heads Energy Debt Financing at responsAbility. "The 27 participants represented banks with very different levels of green lending in their portfolios: Some have multiple years of experience in the field and are now looking to further expand their portfolio. Others are just about to start the journey. Bringing these practitioners together for an exchange of ideas and solutions is the best way to drive climate finance in emerging economies."
The 139 tons of CO2 emissions generated during the event have been fully offset thanks to the myclimate foundation.
Can you do green lending on a commercial basis? Amazing discussions at the Academy