The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) of Egypt launched a consultation process for guidelines to foster the development of the country’s green bond market and help address climate change on Wednesday.
The IFC has been assisting the FRA in formulating draft guidelines for green bonds that will now undergo a consultation process with market stakeholders by providing comparative studies from international markets.
A green bond is like a normal bond, but with an additional commitment to deploying its funds to projects that address key areas of environmental concern, like climate change, natural resources depletion, loss of biodiversity, and air, water, or soil pollution.
Mohammed Omran, chairperson of the FRA, said, “our partnership with the IFC helped us provide the necessary information to both issuers and investors, providing a comprehensive reference guide for the market to develop a new financial tool to support green growth in Egypt. This is also in line with our strategy to develop new financial instruments within the Egyptian market over the next four years.”
The IFC focuses on helping the private sector address climate change through investments and innovative financing, and by addressing regulatory and policy obstacles to green growth. Green bonds can help finance investments in renewable energy, agribusiness, green buildings, and energy efficiency projects.
For his part, Walid Labadi, the IFC country manager in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, said that private sector investment is crucial to ensure a greener future, and channelling such investments in this area can help drive growth in green finance, which is a priority for the IFC in the region.
The global green bond market has taken off in recent years to total $155bn in 2017—a 78% increase from the previous year. Since 2005, the IFC has invested $18.3bn in long-term financing from its own account and mobilised another $11bn through partnerships with investors for climate-related projects in areas like renewable power, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, green buildings, waste, and supporting private sector adaptation to climate change.
The initiative is a partnership between the IFC’s MENA Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF) Programme, the IFC Treasury, and the World Bank Treasury. The MENA SEF Programme is co-financed by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD) and the Hungarian Export-Import Bank.