Across the Middle East and North Africa, IFC is raising awareness in the banking sector about sustainable energy financing opportunities targeting women, low-income households, and climate-friendly initiatives.
IFC, in cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Environment and the Association of Banks in Jordan, hosted a conference entitled “Eco-Financing: Unlocking Green Business Opportunities,” in March of last year in Amman.
Participants included members of the government, banking industry representatives, project developers, and technical experts. IFC shared its global experience in sustainable energy finance and discussed opportunities to increase investment in energy efficiency, cleaner production, and renewable energy projects.
Sustainable banking encourages financial institutions to develop products in new areas, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, microfinance, financing for women and low-income housing. It also promotes greater transparency and sustainable development, which can bring sizable business benefits and help banks in emerging markets differentiate themselves from their competition.
At the close of the conference, a committee was struck that will follow up on recommendations and participate in activities to grow sustainable finance activities within the country. Through this effort, IFC seeks to promote the banking sector’s role in reducing the effects of climate change.
“Banks can help support efforts to reduce the effects of climate change by considering sustainability issues in their lending decisions,” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC Country Officer for Jordan.
Climate change and sustainability are key areas of strategic focus for IFC. In fiscal year 2009, more than $1 billion of IFC’s global direct investments went to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency. IFC also leveraged more than $6 billion in energy-related investments. The Equator Principles, a set of principles for social and environmental risk management in project finance, were based on IFC’s performance standards.