What Is Green Finance, and How Crucial Is It?
Essence of green finance.
“Green finance” refers to financial products, services, channels and access conditions that promote environmentally positive outcomes. Through financing businesses and projects, financial institutions can significantly promote the transition to a low-carbon society, environmental preservation and repair.
Climate change has become the defining political and economic challenge of this century. Combating global warming is no longer at the appendix of the global or national development agenda. It is at the forefront. Today, most development partners, governments, investors, and responsible private sector concerns are working to reduce the climate crisis. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. This sets the tone for all responsible organizations, governments and citizens of the world.
Green financing is expanding in Uganda
The development and financial sectors in Uganda are promoting green finance in areas like sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, clean energy access, commercial forestry, and environmentally friendly water, sanitation and health (WASH) projects. Furthermore, Uganda`s financial sector is building capacity in green finance through training and technical assistance to financial institutions, and partnerships with other clean energy sector players. While these efforts encourage the transition to a cleaner and low carbon economy, a lot more remains to be done at the policy implementation level. Location of and waste disposal by industries, for instance, need to be better regulated and supervised.
FRIENDS Consult in green finance
FRIENDS Consult is passionate about green finance. We have participated in designing renewable energy financing projects, worked with banks and MFIs to develop green finance products, managed the EU funded pilot of the Sustainable Energy Markets Acceleration (SEMA) project, conducted surveys for rural power grid extension demand and conducted baselines and evaluations for clean/ renewable energy projects. In our office we have gone paperless to save trees. We deliver more than 90% of our reports to clients electronically, and we invest in acquiring environmental knowledge inhouse. We have all our internal minutes shared only electronically and we do very little in-house printing. Through our networks, we also offer environmental, social and governance (ESG) technical assistance.
Green finance is a good channel of influence for financial institutions to positively impact our nation and the world and we all have a responsibility to play. With the required appropriate regulation and enforcement of general environmental standards at the national level, financial services can be leveraged to deliver environmental wellness.