Gulf Business
Finance Image Credit: Gulf Business
Finance Image Credit: Gulf Business

Why Sustainable Financing Is The Way Ahead For The Region

There are huge opportunities for banks to shift more of their balance sheets into sustainable projects to support social development

Sunil Kaushal

A mix of community awareness and public policy reform have made sustainability a focal point for international banking and the broader industrial and commercial settings of most economies. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors have become prime considerations for business, and the business bottom line is no longer composed of mere financial considerations. There is a growing international consensus that sustainability considerations must be at the forefront of all decision making, as our medium to long term wellbeing depends on a healthy environment supported by sustainable economic and social development. Climate change has been described as the key challenge of our time. It’s the cause of rising temperature, land and sea erosion and salinity.

To combat this, governments are raising awareness of initiatives launched by the United Nations (UN) such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Paris Agreement which seeks to limit warming to 1.5 celsius. While some advanced economies are closer to meeting these requirements set by the UN, emerging and developing countries are facing a funding gap that require support from banks and the private sector.

While 90 per cent of the SDG financing needs are covered in developed nations, only 60 per cent of the investment needs are addressed in emerging and developing regions (and as low as 10 per cent in parts of Africa). Looking closer to home, it is estimated that climate threats could impact the U

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