Financial Instruments For Saving Human Lives: What Is Green Banking and Why Do We Need It?

More than 250 delegates, representatives of the financial elite from different countries, took part in CIS BANKERS, the professional Ukrainian banking forum. The 4th International Ukrainian Banking Forum was held on October 19-20 in Kyiv. One of the largest and most recognized financial events in Ukraine as well as Eastern Europe was attended by chairmen and board members of 42 banks, including Kyrylo Shevchenko, the TOP manager at Ukrgasbank. In the course of the interview, the banker gave special consideration to the support of environmental projects.

The Green Banking model is gaining momentum around the world, it implies the new direction for investments aimed at financing energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and other projects in the area of green infrastructure. Kyrylo Shevchenko noted that Ukraine, being a part of the civilized world, also has to take immediate action in the area of improvement of the environmental situation, and Ukrgazbank, on its part, is ready to participate in various green projects.

The head of the national bank says that Ukraine is at the top of the list of countries with the largest number of deaths from air pollution (in 2016, there were 120 registered deaths per 100 thousand people). The main reasons for the deterioration in the chemical composition of the air are the exhaust gases from vehicles and the harmful emissions from obsolete industrial enterprises.

This happens despite the fact that Ukraine has a real potential for creating and increasing the capacity of renewable energy facilities, such as the sun, the wind, and the water. Shevchenko noted that our country is currently getting only 1.2% of its energy from regenerative sources, whereas, according to the calculations by Eurostat (the EU statistical service), we can produce ten times more green and safe energy (from 74% of all the energy that is being produced in Ukraine).

The green banks are being established to solve the problem of insufficient investment in the environmental projects. The latter also concerns the climate investments, the financial means that are allocated to help overcome the negative consequences caused by the climate change. A specialized international organization was established in France to provide support for the green banks; since 2015, it has provided assistance in establishing and developing such financial institutions. The company that is known as The Green Bank Network (GBN) also offers specialized platforms, tools, and programs for sharing knowledge and experience in the promotion and implementation of environmentally friendly investments. The GBN is open for cooperation: funds and financial companies interested in developing “green” products and technologies can become its new participants. Shevchenko noted that Ukrgasbank is also considering the possibility of joining the GBN members.

At this stage, Ukrgasbank has already participated in 50 green projects implemented in different regions of the country. According to Kyrylo Shevchenko, these projects helped to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide by almost 600 thousand tons per year and save 281 million m3 of natural gas per year. The new environmental campaigns lay ahead: the bank’s experts are studying more than 40 projects that are worth around 261 million Euros.

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