Republic Bank advocates for Green Bonds for Green Buildings and mortgage financing

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Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited, a subsidiary of Republic Financial Holdings Limited, has advocated for issuance of a Green Bond in Ghana to raise long-term financing for Green Building construction by developers and Green Mortgage financing.

This was proposed when the bank participated in the virtual Ghana Green Building Summit organised by Yecham Property Consult in conjunction with the IFC–EDGE programme and supported by the Embassy of Denmark.

Speaking on behalf of the bank, General Manager for Risk Management, Mr. Bernard Gyebi, said Green Building is the future of home construction as the world is increasingly witnessing unfavorable climate change. He added that one key focus of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to protect the environment.

He also indicated that one of the lasting effects of COVID-19 will be the ‘new normal’ of physical and social distancing. “This means more people will be seeking accommodation. While this is good for real-estate and mortgage businesses, it also means that building infrastructure will be competing more with nature”.

He therefore proposed ‘Green Mortgage’ loan products which will enable members of the public to access affordable mortgage facilities subsidised by government to buy properties that are approved as environmentally friendly, utilise clean energy and nurture the green environment.

“Just as government has partnered banks to offer affordable mortgage rates to public sector workers, I believe in its effort to promote SDGs government should partner the banks by providing subsidies on loans to finance houses which qualify to be green or nature-friendly. Banks, working with the estate developers and government, can come out with clear benchmarks on features or fittings of houses that qualify to be green. In addition, government’s affordable housing projects should also focus on promoting green buildings,” Mr. Gyebi added.

Supporting the General Manager of Risk Management’s proposal, Manager of Mortgage Business – Republic Bank, Mr. Frank Oppong-Yeboah, also made a strong case for the issuance of a Green Bond by government or through Public-Private Partnership to raise long-term financing for Green Buildings and Green Loan Products.

According to him, on the International Scene, Green Bond issuance accumulated US$161billion worth of investments worldwide according to International Rating Agency Moody’s. “There is a lot of investment opportunities in Green Bond issuance, and we think it is time we stepped forward to do it,” Mr. Oppong-Yeboah added.

A Green Bond is a type of fixed-income instrument that is specifically earmarked to raise money for climate and environmental projects.

The Ghana Green Building Summit was organised by Yecham Property Consult in conjunction with the IFC–EDGE programme and supported by the Embassy of Denmark. The aim of this summit is to reduce the negative impact of real-estate projects on the environment while conserving natural resources.

Also speaking at the summit was the Minister for Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea; Mayor of Accra, Mohammed A. Sowah; the Head of Trade at the Royal Danish Embassy and other distinguished Speakers in the fields of Building, Energy, Environmental and Climate Change.

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