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Green issues must be driven by all
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The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Global Roundtable 2013 came to a close today. Karin Ireton says the scale of environmental devastation in the Philippines is a wake up call that climate change will exaggerate the effect of natural disasters and bring unthinkable disaster.


Everyone at the UNEP FI Global Round Table that people have limited time to make profound systemic change.

In China, toxic air pollution has become a catalyst for greater environmental awareness. Green financing policies are not enough, the China National Research Agency told delegates yesterday; all sectors have to cooperate.

Chinese banking regulators are driving green issues in loan assessment and ongoing "green" dialogue with African banks, including Standard Bank Group.

South Africa's renewable energy programme is an example of how government, project developers and private sector financiers can work together. At Standard Bank Group we are driving greater scrutiny of our lending activities to reduce resultant environmental risk.

The UNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 200 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance. See http://www.unepfi.org for more.

The biennial Global Roundtable is the flagship event of UNEP FI that brings together high-level representatives from financial institutions, governments, regulators, civil society, academia and the scientific community to galvanize action on sustainable finance.

Karin Ireton is Head of Sustainable Management at Standard Bank Group. See www.standardbank.com/sustainability.
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