The Union of Arab Banks (UAB) will hold a forum in Hurghada between 26 and 28 July to discuss green banking as a path to sustainable development.
The forum will be held in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB), under the auspices of CBE Governor Tarek Amer.
According to UAB Secretary General Wissam H Fattouh, the forum will highlight the concept of green banking and sustainable development with its economic, social, and environmental dimensions, as well as the impact of climate change on banking and financial services.
“The forum will also discuss the role of central banks and banks in sustainable development through green banking, as well as green banking mechanisms to enhance financial inclusion and small and medium enterprises, in addition to thex importance of digital transformation and adherence to the principles of governance in enhancing future banking services,” he added.
Fattouh said that the forum will also explore the best practices of green banking and sustainable financing, review the experiences of countries in that regard, the role of corporate social responsibility in achieving sustainable development, and the role played by the financial sector and legislative and regulatory bodies in the management of environmental and social risks under the application of green banking.
In addition, the forum will also tackle the strategy of sustainable development, including Egypt’s Vision 2030, green bonds and their role in protecting the environment and combating climate change, and green banking.
The sessions will also discuss the strategies of central and commercial banks for green banking transformation, the impact of climate change on banking and financial services, banking sustainability and public-private partnership, the role of green banking in supporting digital transformation and enhancing financial inclusion, and green banking and social responsibility enhancement for sustainable development.
Moreover, Fattouh said that the forum will discuss the impact of green banking on sustainable financing of small and medium enterprises to enhance financial inclusion, governance mechanisms in support of sustainable development in the Arab world, and environmental and social risk management within green banking.
“Many banks are seeking to shift to green banking, with the aim of improving the quality of their assets and contributing to sustainable development by channelling low-cost financial support to clean, low-carbon energy projects, as well as directing financial markets to invest in clean energy,” Fattouh explained.
“The banking sector plays a mediating role between economic development and environmental protection, through green banking practices, which contribute to the promotion of environmental and social sustainability, and to achieve the growth of both the banking sector and the economy as a whole, while maintaining the integrity of the environment and compliance with the criteria for the rationing of consumption of natural resources,” he stated.
He added that the aspects of green banking affecting sustainable development include green economies, food security, corporate social responsibility, public-private partnership, financing programmes and projects that mitigate the impact of climate change and mitigate global warming, supporting small and medium enterprises through digital transformation, and an expanded reliance on innovations in financial technology.
He noted that despite prudential measures issued by the Basel III standards in the wake of the global financial crisis with regard to liquidity and capital adequacy, banks as entities responsible for social responsibility must play their role in protecting the environment to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals.