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12 August 2019 09:26 am

SustainableQATAR’s Weekly Challenge 24: Finance: Green Banking

ILQ Staff
ILQ Staff
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SustainableQATAR’s 52 weekly challenges – that is one challenge per week for a whole year themed by month – are Qatar-specific and Qatar-relevant opportunities for all residents to take actions in personal life, work and within our communities.

Read the blog post on the August Theme – Finance

The recent How Climate Change Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis quotes that one-third of global assets are linked to carbon-intensive activities, such as natural resource extraction, power utilities, chemicals, construction, and industrial products companies. While Germany is actively pursuing clean energy policies, its economy is largely based on internal combustion engines of automakers Daimler and BMW, leaving it vulnerable and exposed.

“If the world is to cope with climate change, policymakers will need to pull every lever at their disposal … [It is] not simply a zero-sum game; this is a structural transformation that has many very attractive properties … The scale of the challenge requires a boldness of action for which there is no precedent.”

How Climate Change Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis

All governments can now create a safety net for fiscally responsible investments by embracing and supporting renewable-energy generating capacity, which has become eminently realistic in economic terms.

Policies matter!

To hold companies and banks accountable for following through with divesting from fossil fuels, our role as citizens is to demand and call for such policy actions because they make financial sense. The 2019 State of the Green Business Reportidentified green finance and in particular green loans, as a form of lower cost of capital. Green bonds can be used to finance and support capital projects such as renewable energy infrastructure and/or public and alternative transportation that lower carbon emissions and increase the resilience of our communities.

The Netherlands, one of the world’s lowest-lying countries, takes climate risks and associated vulnerabilities seriously. In an effort to realize opportunities from conservation financing, The Netherlands issued one of the largest green bonds ever in the amount of $6.8 billion for low carbon development and sustainable water management, crucial in protecting it from floods and sea-level rise.

Green Bonds

Green Bonds and loans are forms of public finance products, to serve public benefits, protect and preserve natural resources, to recognize ecosystem services and put an economic value on it, which then applies toward the transition to low-emission and low-carbon new economies.

So far, green bonds have not been used to their full potential. One example, the Seychelles First Blue Bond in November 2018, was designed to fund protection of its marine environment, and serves as a model for financing sustainability projects. Many more opportunities for bold finance options await.

What Can We Do?

  • invest in and shop for efficiencies and explore your bank’s ability to issue you a green loan with lower interest.
  • support green bonds for public capital projects to protect and preserve natural environments.
  • support your country’s representatives that push for green policies.
  • applaud bold public capital projects, follow with interest, raise questions.
  • wise up, get involved, and follow the arguments, and develop positions.

Resources

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay