Financial Insitutions Urge The Public to take on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives

The Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services (UIBFS) and Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA) in collaboration with Bank of Uganda has organised the 3rd Edition of the Annual Banking and Financial Services Awareness month, a grand public awareness event aimed at bringing together providers and users of banking and financial services / products across the country under the theme  “Start Small Grow Big Be Green Smart

The major objective of the month was to improve financial literacy within the public with the aim of empowering the public with knowledge and resources to enable them make right financial decisions so as to have a better life in general.

This awareness month featured the first ever green finance week  that ran from 12th and 17th December 2022.

During this Green finance week ,the Institute and UBA partnered with key stakeholders such as aBi Finance Ltd, financial sector regulators, banks to share insights into available opportunities and challenges within the Sustainable Development Space  and hosted a Green Finance / Trade  Exhibition at Railway grounds, Jinja Road on  16th and 17th December 2022.

This Green Finance Exhibition featured enterprises created out of a need to respond to a sustainable theme –  Sustainable finance, forests, renewable energy, recycled items, green building, and gender inclusiveness showcasing their latest products and services, technologies and best practices developed through  environmental  sustainability.

Goretti Masadde, the chief executive officer of the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services (UIBFS) shared that banks will now seek to support green agribusiness investments for Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Biodiversity Conservation.

“Financial services can do a lot to either mitigate, to adapt or to even promote biodiversity conservation. We are telling them to increasingly make more green finance available and accessible to fund green projects such as wind and solar farms, and to invest in businesses themselves to help them become greener,” Ms. Masadde shared.

Financial Insitutions Urge The Public to take on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives
Goretti Masadde, the Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services (UIBFS) speaking to the media. Image/Courtsey

She added, “Banks therefore play an essential role in helping people and businesses to access the money to support environmentally-friendly activity.”

Adding on the same sentiments, Ms. Mona Muguma Ssebuliba, the CEO aBi Finance urged the financial institutions especially banks to be aware of climate change risks to businesses and be able to address the matter.

“Managing climate change requires that those tasked with Governance of our institutions, that is board and management MUST appreciate the climate change threats to business and start to act immediately. Once governance is aligned, then commit resources to develop and institutionalise clear Environmental and Socially inclusive policies, frameworks, products, build capacity (for staff, systems and infrastructure) and pursue partnerships to enable climate adaptation, mitigation and biodiversity conservation investments.”

Mugume said that aBi Finance has launched a dedicated green investment fund to help mitigate climate change and support biodiversity conservation.

“The idea is to support financial institutions in providing appropriate loan products and services to allow agri- businesses and smallholder farmers access financing that will address climate change particularly to help the businesses adapt to climate change, mitigate against some of the vagaries coming to do with climate change,” she said adding that green financing is critical in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.

She observed that globally, Uganda is the 12th most vulnerable and the 49th least prepared out of 195 countries, to deal with vagaries of climate change.

“Production and productivity of small holder farmers and agribusinesses continues to suffer from climate change vagaries evidenced by change in patterns of rainfall, drought and temperature,” she said.

Mugume also revealed that there’s need for capacity building of smallholder farmers and agri-businesses to know how to mitigate against climate change.

This exhibition  was  meant to sensitize the public on greening to take on climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives through embracing a green smart life using sustainable financial services and environmentally friendly resources.

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