HOW TO ACCELERATE A GREEN ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Leaders of development banks discuss the role of their institutions in the search for a greener economy, essential for the post-pandemic recovery.
On Monday, December 14, the Institute for Climate and Society (iCS) and the German Embassy promoted the panel How to Accelerate the Green Economic Recovery, in the 15th edition of the Dialogues series. The conversation, held online, brought together Claudia Arce, director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the German Development Bank, Kfw; Gustavo Montezano, president of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), and Leany Lemos, president of the Southern Brazil Regional Development Bank (BRDE). They discussed the role of development banks in the search for a sustainable economy, what these banks have already done, and future prospects. The complete panel, which was mediated by Alice Amorim, fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and co-founder of the Dialogues, is available and can be watched on iCS’s YouTube channel or on the link: https://youtu.be/zN7hxBhqXD0.
Claudia Arce commented on how the role of development banks has changed over the years.
SUSTAINABILITY IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE PATH FOR THE ECONOMY
"Some time ago, their traditional role was more one of providing credit to specific companies, perhaps the ones with more visible climate protection activities than others, such as biogas in Brazil and wind power providers. I think this trend will continue in the future, but the new role of development banks will be much more about developing the green financial market. Effectively investing on credits, on green financing and on climate protection."
Concern with the environment has always been one of the ideals of BNDES, according to Gustavo Montezano. "Since its foundation, the bank's mission has been to provide a sustainable development of the environment, people and the economy, all in a coordinated, holistic manner." He also pointed out that social and environmental factors are just as important as the economic ones.
"It is now obvious, even though in a more distant past it was not seen that way, that if you want to raise your GDP, if you want to create jobs and have a prosperous country, naturally the economic agenda has to go hand in hand with the social agenda, and also with the environmental one; it is a tripod."
One of the functions of development banks most cited by the panelists is the provision of technical assistance, helping and guiding states and municipalities on the path towards a more sustainable and economically healthy world. "Not only at the city level, but also for states and the federal government, the issue is not the lack of resources, but how to apply the existing resources," explained Montezano.
Leany Lemos também comentou sobre o papel da conexão que os bancos devem fazer com líderes de órgãos públicos, que, segundo ela, já têm a questão do meio ambiente como uma de suas preocupações.
"With regard to the public sector, I think they are already truly sensitized." Most of the meetings in the bank along the last week [Lemos took office at BRDE on December 3] were with many elected mayors seeking to talk to the bank; they want to know what the bank can offer, what the bank can do."
The Amazon, which has been at the top of most recent dialogues, was also discussed. Claudia Arce pointed out that Kfw has been collaborating for its preservation. "The fact is that we have had funding lines for the Amazon for a long time bringing very important cooperation, both directly and through the BNDES, and also with several states in the Amazon. I believe the most popular line is the Amazon Fund, which is heavily invested by Norway and Germany. These lines have different objectives, some are more focused on protection, others on reforestation, and still others on technical assistance to local communities to protect the climate and the forest."
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