Just like Captain Kirk, we are on a journey of discovery.
Individuals, communities, cities, countries, businesses and organizations are heading into uncharted territory - making brave and unique decisions to combat global environmental challenges.
Whether (or is that weather?) you believe in climate change or not, just by turning on your TV you witness the world changing. Sea levels are rising, extreme weather events are becoming the norm and desertification is intensifying.
But with challenges comes the opportunity to find innovative solutions…
…and sometimes they come from unlikely places.
One such sector is the financial industry. Although this may come as a surprise, the financial sector has a unique opportunity to bring business, financing, green technology and the environment together.
Green finance is one of the options the financial industry has to leverage financial services and products towards a more sustainable environment and economy. Broadly, green finance is the use of financial services and products like investments, bonds, grants, etc. for projects or initiatives that benefit the environment.
Green finance tools include bonds, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, microfinancing loans, etc. Each tool must have an environmentally friendly component to be considered green finance.
Cities are increasingly choosing green finance as a means of becoming environmentally sustainable. A green bond was recently established in London, England with the sole purpose of revamping the public transportation system within the city to make it more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient, which would help cut operational and maintenance costs.
The bond raised 550 million British pounds from various investors, allowing London to improve cycling lanes, make station alterations, and upgrade bus fleets . Examples like this are encouraging as it creates a “win-win” situation for both the environment and the cities. The environment benefits from energy efficiencies and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; the city benefits as more people use the restored public transportation systems, and the cost to maintain and operate it decreases.
From a MEDA perspective, green finance can be implemented anywhere along the supply chain. As MEDA seeks to take a multi-disciplinary approach to complex environmental issues, they ensure that their work is ecological and sustainable. For example, when dealing with an agricultural producer, additional funds may be available to them if they implement renewable energy or recycled machine parts. This allows the entrepreneur to receive the funding they need to be competitive in the market place and help sustain the environment.
As the world continues to change and new ways of living arise, we must remain connected with the one thing that keeps us alive, our planet. Green finance not only opens the door for extraordinary opportunities and allows us to keep living the way we do, but it allows us to do so in a way that will benefit the environment rather than hinder it.
Thank you, MEDA for the summer experience. I look forward to keeping connected with MEDA projects and seeing the amazing work continued.