On November 22 2016, GGGI’s Assistant Director-General Mahua Acharya spoke on a panel titled “Upscaling Green Business in Asia-Pacific through Private Sector Finance” at the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) headquarters in Manila, Philippines. The panel also consisted of experts in the field of green finance from the ADB, European Investment Bank, University of Dhaka, Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, Bright Green Energy Foundation, and YES BANK.
The panel discussed ways to move investors away from financing business-as-usual projects, how to identify better returns for green investments, and the importance of accessing capital markets to deliver real long-term impact in green financing. According to the panel discussions, this can be accomplished by strategically using small amounts of public funding to leverage larger private funding. Additionally, attracting investors requires confidence in the public sector and policy stability.
GGGI recently produced an Insight Brief titled ‘Mind the Gap: Bridging the Climate Financing Gap with Innovative Financial Mechanisms’. Mahua Acharya discussed many of the themes from the Insight Brief during the panel discussions, which are largely focused on innovative financial mechanisms to enhance investment. The Brief addresses the large gap between the amount of money green projects need for financing and the actually levels of capital being invested, despite there being no lack of available capital. This panel echoed these sentiments and sought to find innovative ways to bridge the gap.
Participants at the Forum were able to meet and network with government officials, sustainable development and financing experts, green entrepreneurs, and potential customers and clients from around the region and beyond. This event presented an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue between the public sector and the private investors to better understand the needs, concerns, and challenges for all stakeholders.
Christopher Knowles, Head of Climate Change & Environment Division at the European Investment Bank, said, “Investors are relatively simple people. They like three things: certainty, certainty, and a little more certainty.” To increase certainty in green investments, Assaad Razzouk, the Group CEO at Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, believes that we must first shift policy away from encouraging investments in business-as-usual practices. According to Mr. Razzouk, one way to do this would be to remove some of the USD 5 trillion in fossil-fuel subsidies. In order to achieve greater leveraging of private sector capital, Mahua Acharya said, “I think it’s time both public and private capital come out of their comfort zones a little, take a little bit more risk, and get a little more creative and innovative.”
This conference was the first opportunity for GGGI to discuss the themes of the Insight Brief. GGGI plans to continue to present this publication at various events and conferences in the near future.