MNB and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) organized an international online conference on green finance. The discussions at the conference focused on the assessment and quantification of the adverse economic effects of climate change, energy efficiency investments to achieve a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and funding opportunities for renewable energy production. MNB announced that it will shortly introduce new bank capital requirement discounts supporting green corporate lending, while transforming its own operations to become fully net zero carbon.
Csaba Kandrács, Deputy Governor of MNB, highlighted that MNB the new capital requirement discount to support green corporate lending would initially cover renewable energy investments and green bonds purchases. He added that MNB will become completely carbon-neutral. It will offset its emissions in 2020 by financing ecological investments next year. In the meantime, it plans to reduce its emissions significantly primarily by swapping its energy consumption for green energy.
At the meeting several speakers discussed financial risks of environmental nature. In their speeches, Ma Jun, Special Advisor to the Governor of PBC, and Jo Paisley, Co-President of GARP Institute, underlined that financial institutions have started assessing the adverse effects arising from climate change and have begun to implement them into their risk management procedures, but there was much to be done urgently. In addition, Sean Kindey, co-founder and CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative, described the global trends in the green bonds market. He noted that the growth of these new types of instruments was not restricted by COVID-19 pandemic. The closing panel discussion clarified the potential opportunities offered by green bonds for Central Europe, pointing out that green bonds may provide additional funds the for necessary investment projects in the region.
Keywords: Europe, Hungary, Banking, COVID-19, Climate Change Risk, ESG, Green Bonds, Regulatory Capital, EBRD, Sustainable Finance, MNB
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