Virtual In Country Training on Inclusive Green Finance for the Central Bank of Seychelles
Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Opening Remarks by AFI Deputy Executive Director Norbert Mumba
Second Deputy Governor, Ms Jenifer Sullivan, Central Bank of Seychelles
Representatives from the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change
Participants from the Central Bank of Seychelles
Representatives from Reserve Bank of Fiji and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Let me start by thanking you for finding time to grace this important training and also Governor Abel and the Central Bank of Seychelles for inviting AFI to partner with CBS on such an important undertaking. I also thank everyone present in this training. We are honoured to join CBS in commencing its journey in inclusive green finance (IGF). From the AFI Management Unit’s side, we are excited to join you on this journey and to connect you to other AFI members who can support you in developing IGF policies.
As more and more AFI members are looking into greening their financial systems, the In-Country Implementation Program is one of AFI’s support towards this agenda. This program comes in technical support such as what we’re doing today, in small grants to support a few initiatives, or a combination of both.
The discourse on climate change has in recent years taken huge leaps around the world. It is a reality that developing countries which contribute less to the cause of global warming suffer the brunt of climate events, whether slow onset such as rising sea levels or rapid onset events such as cyclones or flooding. Both slow and fast onset climate events hamper economic development and impacts the most vulnerable the hardest. At the micro-level, those with limited coping capacities suffer the most impacts of these climate events. The Seychelles are indeed not new to the impacts of climate change and as an island nation, you experience this impact harshly.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides a blueprint for a sustainable and better future for all. The SDGs aim to address the interconnected global challenges that we face today, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change and environmental degradation. Country development plans have adapted or aligned to these goals along with respective national objectives. This ensures that countries contribute to the global agenda without prejudice to their national priorities and development goals. Climate change is crucial to sustainable development thus, climate goals were set through the Paris Agreement. The agreement aims to keep global warming temperature to ‘well below 2 degrees celcius’ above pre-industrial levels while allowing developing countries to strengthen resilience to the impacts of climate change.
To support these climate goals, climate finance or the broader green finance aims to mobilize resources towards this sustainable climate agenda. Financial regulators are in an important position to lead the initiative and influence private sector resources towards a more sustainable and greener development pathway. Inclusive green finance (IGF) is a policy area that aims to help in steering resources towards a greener agenda through financial inclusion. It aims to ensure that steering resources towards green objectives will not result into financial exclusion but instead create a more inclusive environment and to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. It is a unique proposition pioneered by AFI members and provided the 4P Framework of Inclusive Green Finance - Provision, Promotion, Protection and Prevention. I believe you will be discussing this context to help structure the deliberations.
IGF contributes to the implementation of the SDGs. Primarily Goal 13: Climate Action but also contributes to Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, but indirectly also to the other goals. We’re happy to note that across the AFI network, there are members that have already advanced in this policy area and I understand that some of them will be sharing their experience during this training. We have also noted that even in the absence of a country blueprint on green finance, there were already initiatives taken by some members around renewable energy, disaster preparedness, and other relevant areas, and the Central Bank of Seychelles presented some of its initiatives during the Virtual Member Training last month.
I wish to congratulate CBS on the initiative to advance inclusive green finance in country and thank you again for involving us in your endeavour in this policy space. We wish you success as you start to chart out your plans to support Seychelle’s and world’s efforts to combat the impacts of climate change. We look forward to more collaborations in the future.