April 1, 2008
Banktrack has released an interesting report on the environmental performance standards of China’s financial institutions. The report recognises the need for policies to be put in place, as China’s financial institutions are becoming important players in financing environmentally and socially sensitive activities around the world.
The report found that:
Only two of China’s ten most important banks — China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank of China (Chexim) — have publicly-disclosed environmental policies… … The rest of the eight banks surveyed had no publicly-available environmental financing standards.
There are also some encouraging sign that suggest progress is being made:
The Peoples’ Bank of China has recently developed a new credit database which includes borrowers’ environmental compliance data. This will allow Chinese banks to evaluate how well companies have followed environmental laws before offering loans.
The report also claims that many international banks, who own significant shares of Chinese banks, have the ability to institute world-class environmental standards through their strategic investment agreements. This is another example of the growing environmental demands being placed on international banks, and there needs to be careful consideration as to whether the demands are reasonable and if there is genuine scope for influence.
October 13, 2006
This promises to be an exciting event in consideration of the significant finance opportunities in India. Robert Tacon is an eloquent speaker on the subject of risk management and I anticipate this will be a highly insightful event.
UNEP FI Workshop: Mainstreaming Sustainability in Indian FIs
5 December 2006, Mumbai, India
Organised by the Outreach Group of the Asia Pacific Task Force, in close collaboration with UNEP FI Signatory YES BANK, the workshop is targeted at senior-level executives of Indian financial institutions.
The event will focus on sustainable finance and reporting. A CEO Luncheon ill be held in parallel, aiming to sensitise senior management on India’s sustainability challenge and the risks and opportunities faced by the financial sector. Speakers will include UNEP FI Head Paul Clements-Hunt, Robert Tacon, Head of Risk Reporting at Standard Chartered, Bart Jan Krouwel, Head of Sustainable Developments Department at Rabobank and Toshiro Nishizawa, Deputy Director General at Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC).
This is the first such event to be organised by UNEP FI in the country.
For further information, please visit:
August 23, 2006
Investment rose from from USD 30 billion in 2004 to USD 38 billion in 2005. A REN21 report estimates that at least 85 renewable energy companies or divisions have market valuations greater than USD 40 million, up from 60 companies or divisions in 2004. The estimated total market valuation of companies in this category is USD 50 billion, double the 2004 estimate, as several high-profile initial public offerings have recently taken place. The solar PV industry invested record amounts in new plant and equipment (about USD 6 billion), as did the biofuels industry (more than USD 1 billion).
In the last year there were many new policies adopted to support renewable energy, and several more were extended, revised, or discussed. Not only were the EU and US active, but more than 16 developing countries as well, including Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Thailand, and Uganda.
A number of countries dramatically stepped up targets and mandates for biofuels – ethanol and biodiesel mixed with conventional fuels. The number of countries with “feed-in” policies for the purchase of power from renewable sources increased to 41, and the number of countries with future targets for the share of energy from renewables increased to at least 49.
July 31, 2006
India has become the world’s third most attractive market for renewable energy investment, displacing Germany in the top three, according to Ernst & Young. The UK has also pushed ahead of Germany to fourth place, following the publication of the government’s energy review this month.
“India’s rise to third overall … has been precipitated by excellent national and regional government support for both foreign and local investment in renewable technologies,” the consultancy says in its latest quarterly Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index. “Consequently, rapid growth is expected to continue in this market.”
The report notes that installed renewables capacity in India – currently standing at 8GW – is now expected to double every five years, and is forecast to reach 20GW by 2012, twice the government’s target. Full article in Environmental Finance Magazine.
Ashok Toshniwal has provided some valuable comments on the Renewables Market in India (below):
The Hector Molina Sugar Cane Biomass Project provides an interesting example of how project finance risks can be reduced to allow early penetration into renewables markets.