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ISLAMABAD: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank group will support ‘green banking’ in Pakistan as part of IFC’s commitment to helping countries’ transition to green, low carbon and sustainable economies.

In this regard IFC has signed an advisory agreement with the State Bank of Pakistan in Karachi on Wednesday.

IFC’s advisory services team will assist the SBP and country’s banking sector in improving their environmental risk management practices, and ensuring ethical lending practices.

The State Bank has already taken an initial step towards this with the issue of its green banking guidelines last October.

“Green banking is vital to reduce the vulnerability of the financial sector to environmental risks and provide financing to make economies more resource-efficient and climate resilient,” said IFC’s Senior Manager for Pakistan, Nadeem Siddiqui.

“Our aim is to leverage our global experience to assist Pakistan’s central bank in building capacity of the banking sector in green banking practices,” he said.

IFC is a global leader in green banking, providing both advisory and investment support to financial sector regulators and intermediaries in building their green banking business.

Over the last two decades, IFC has worked on more than 200 projects with 150 financial institutions in 15 countries, and provided nearly $5.7 billion in financing, including developing green banking business models and issuing green bonds.

The State Bank of Pakistan is also part of the IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network, a global community of financial sector regulatory agencies and banking associations from emerging markets committed to advancing sustainable finance in line with international best practices.

Pakistan is a priority country for IFC. Over the last three years, IFC has ramped up its investments and advisory services work in the country with current investment commitments of $1.2bn to support the development of Pakistan’s private sector, especially in power and infrastructure, and boost access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018