Green Economy is an Enabler for Sustainable Growth

Institute of Directors

The 20th World Congress on Environment Management and Climate Change was Organised by Institute of Directors (IOD) on 6-7 July 2018, Hotel Le Meriden, New Delhi. The theme of the event was “Transformational Leadership for Promoting Climate Resilient Economic Growth”.

Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank, Qatar gave the special address on 6th July 2018. In the special address, Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on global growth and climate change. He said “G20 countries which account for 85% of global GDP and 80% of CO2 emissions should adopt a combination of pro-growth and pro-environment policies in developing their overall growth and development strategies Infrastructure is at the heart of economic growth and yet there has been chronic underinvestment in most G20 countries. The major green carbon emitters are China, US, EU and India. Global Green Bond issuances exceeded $155.5bn in 2017 with US, China and France leading the issuances. PPP models can potentially address the challenges posed by climate change in sectors like housing, communication, infrastructure, health, agriculture, livelihood, water, and sanitation. In bringing together the growth and climate agendas, rather than treating climate as a separate issue, could add 1% to average economic output in G20 countries by 2021 and thereby contribute to Green economies. A green economy will protect the planet from the worst effects of climate change. Hence, it is necessary that we contribute to the development of a green economy, which is mainly based on sectors such as renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, water management, waste management and land management. Green economy is an enabler for sustainable growth.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on sustainable development in Qatar & Other countries. “The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) seeks to facilitate the issuance of green bonds, enhance the cooperation with Qatar Development Bank to foster economic diversification through green financing and promote sustainable investment and devise incentives for the financial and manufacturing firms to promote such financing. Doha Bank Group as part of its Corporate social responsibility demonstrate fair, open, efficient and consistent business practices to mitigate climate change and promote sustainable development. It advocates and practices Green Banking, which is one of its core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future. It has tracked the developments pertaining to various Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings and involved with various COP meeting delegations including COP 18 in Doha. It has worked on “ECO-Schools Programme” with UNESCO which works with educational institutions to build awareness of key environmental issues and create action plans that are school-specific to help mitigate the overall impact on the environment. Following the Paris climate agreement in 2015, European financial supervisors have been increasingly scrutinising the banking sectors to understand their exposure to climate risks and their preparedness for a transition to a low-carbon energy system.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Indian economy. He said “ India economic growth is expected to be 7.4% in 2018.India is in the midst of the ‘largest energy transformation project’ in the world. India’s move to promote gas usage is in line with the commitment made at the Paris meeting on climate change, which aims to reduce the country’s carbon emission intensity by up to 35% from 2005 levels by 2030 and producing 40% of the power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. India and France have launched an International Solar Alliance to boost solar energy in developing countries at COP 21 Paris summit. In 2017 Securities and Exchange Board of India came out with listing criteria for Green debt securities.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Board roles in Climate Change and Sustainable development. He said “Institutions adopt Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Criteria for sustainable finance, which considers social conscious lending or investments. Environmental criteria look at how a company performs as a steward of the natural environment. Social criteria examine how a company manages relationships with its employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, audits, internal controls and shareholder rights. Board should be part of the ESG Framework and equip themselves with concept of Sustainable finance. Board should have the right composition, structure and process to oversee ESG. Sustainable finance refers to any form of financial service integrating environmental and social into the business or investment decisions for the lasting benefit of both clients and society at large and contribute to green economies. The 17 Sustainable development goals not just cover climate change but extends to areas such as health, education, infrastructure etc. Institutions should explore the concept of sustainable finance to other sustainable development goals based on their willingness and risk appetite to participate in financing such areas.”