The World Bank highlighted that Bangladesh has $200 billion potential for climate and green investments.
Recently, Policy Research Institute (PRI) in collaboration with the World Bank Group organized a webinar titled ‘Incentives for Green Finance and Investment’ at the policy dialogue platform of Green growth for Bangladesh.
Where speakers highlighted that although Bangladesh Bank enforces that banks and financial institutions provide 5% green finance loans annually, only 1.4% was distributed in 2020.
Speakers also stressed that in the face of increased challenges posed by climate change, the need for making funds more available for the private sector is vital to make businesses more green and sustainable.
Dr. Zaidi Sattar, chairman of PRI in his opening speech said, “Bangladesh must set its eyes on a path to net-zero emissions, if not by 2040s, but certainly by 2060s-2070s, in tandem with China and India.”
While World Bank environmental specialist Monika Kumar in her keynote presentation stressed the approaches the Bangladesh government can take in order to facilitate the green growth strategy for Bangladesh that will help integrate the socio-economic development with long-term environmental sustainability.
Monika Kumar added, “The pandemic has allowed us to create a new normal. One that is more equitable, inclusive, green and sustainable.”
“Enforcement is needed to establish incentive structures for businesses to adopt green practices and help increase investors’; and financial institutions’ willingness to support green projects. It will encourage businesses to manage their environmental impact, which helps level the playing field between complying and non-complying businesses, thus creating competitiveness,” said Monika Kumar.
In the webinar, private sector business leaders also took part in the conversation where they shared their views about how to make green financing more accessible.
Speakers also discussed some key obstacles to access green finance. They highlighted lack of legal and regulatory framework, inadequate environmental monitoring, lack of well-coordinated policy oversight body and underdeveloped green financial market knowledge and capacity.
Chief Guest of the program, Advisor to the Prime Minister (Economic Affairs) Dr Mashiur Rahman opined that there should be professionals and experts relevant to the environment in the Planning Commission.
“There is way too much advocacy compared to the technical aspects being discussed when it comes to talking about the environment,” Mashiur Rahman said.
Advisor to the PM also advised that renewable energy sources such as solar power plants should be established in the northern parts of the country to make the best use of the land, as the region itself did not experience too much industrialization due to lack of access to the port or raw materials in comparison to Dhaka, Chittagong and other southern regions of the country.
Among others, Dr Ahsan H Manzur, Executive Director of PRI; Iqbal Abdullah Harun, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment; Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO of Standard Chartered bank; KyungJin Hyung, CEO of Blissvine Ventures and the former senior manager of International Business Department of KIBO also spoke at the discussion.