The challenges and opportunities in the world of green financing topped the agenda on the morning of day two at the World Green Economy Summit, held in Dubai today.
Laying out the landscape for green financing in a session titled Private Financing for the Green Economy, Zoe Knight, Head of Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC, remarked, “The green bond market reached $14bn in 2014, but already this year $9bn in green bonds have been issued to date. There are two main reasons for this – science and policy, with policy providing the commitment and long terms drivers needed to unlock capital.”
Michael Bennett, Head of Derivatives and Structured Finance at the World Bank, when discussing his view on what counts as “green” remarked, “for us green means addressing the impact of climate change, when noting that there are multiple definitions for what constitutes green investment and financing.”
In discussing the operating landscape for effecting change, Jonathan Maxwell, CEO, sustainable Development Bank LLP, said, “where we see green energy really paying for itself is in markets where there are no fossil fuel subsidies. From a market perspective, people tend to ‘go green’ if energy prices are on the increase, as this forces governments to take waste and efficiency more seriously.”
In the second session of the morning, The Youth and Green Innovation, the case for R&D was stated as an imperative for taking fossil fuel economies and turning them into knowledge economies. Dr Franco Vigliotti, Dean of EFPL Middle East remarked that, “MENA Governments invest 0.5% of their budgets on R&D, compared to 2.5% in more developed economies.” Emily Hallet, Strategy Director at Opower, added that, “when people think of innovation it is always a case of what can we build, but we often forget about the people involved. People drive innovation.”
Speaking on behalf of youth, Ross Collins, PhD candidate at MIT and winner of the GEI Essay Contest, framed the debate around sustainability as being a case of “properly managing a set of capital assets in the face of uncertainty. Given the multitude of variables, no predictions will ever be truly correct – it is really a case of finding near term solutions that can provide cover for a wide range of potential scenarios.”
Adding to this, fellow GEI Essay Context winner, and Harvard PhD candidate, Daniel Thorpe, said, “As a youth, I can say that what is really valuable to me is not just funding and access, but mentorship and real world guidance from those with far more experience than me.”
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Wednesday, April 16- 2014 @ 13:58 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.