A four day training programme, organised by GIZ in collaboration with Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD, on ‘Capacity Building Training of Trainers (ToT) of Banks on Green Financing’ took place from 4th to 7th of October 2017 in Lucknow. A total of 30 trainers from 11 banks including India’s central banking institution the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and other public and private banks such as Union Bank of India and State Bank of India (SBI) etc. participated in the training programme. The training was led by Prof. Frank Udo Hoeggel, University of Bern and Mr. Unnikrishnan Divakaran Nair, Senior Policy Advisor, Umbrella Programme for Natural Resource Management (UPNRM), GIZ.
In India many banks are already actively employing the green financing instruments, as part of their lending principle. Yet, there is a felt need to enhance the green banking initiatives for sustainable development in India. Considering, the potential of Green Banking in India the ToT of bankers was organised.
The main objective of the training programme was to develop familiarity with national and international instruments on green climate finance for sustainable development. It was organised from a banker’s perspective, to give exposure on issues and processes involved in green financing projects for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Focusing on building the capacities of trainers of banks, the training enabled them to appraise green financing projects and to develop customised training modules required for the specific needs of the banking industry.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Pankaj Sethiya from the College of Agriculture Banking of Reserve Bank of India in Pune, Maharashtra said, “This training would help propagate Green Financing principles among banks for climate change mitigation and adaptation project”
Dr. D. V. Deshpande, Director of BIRD Lucknow, inaugurated the training programme. Other distinguished guest speakers invited to speak on Green Financing included Mr. M. Rahul, Assistant Director, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance; Dr. Dinkar Rao, Former Chairman, Prathama Bank, Dr. Sunil Kumar, General Manager, NABARD, Mr. Labanya Prakash Jena, Senior Analyst, Climate Policy Initiative Climate Change vertical, Mr Srinath Komarina, President for Responsible Banking, Yes Bank; etc. The multidisciplinary backgrounds of guests and participants – from government institutions, academia, public and private banks – helped to shed light on different aspects, challenges and opportunities in green financing.
Key topics discussed in the workshop included existing green financing policy frameworks in India and the availability of green financing instruments and mechanism both at national and international level. Further deliberations were made on the climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives undertaken by NABARD as National Implementing Entity (NIE) of India for national and international climate funds. Furthermore, potentials for the engagement of Banks and other financial institutions using green financing in the private sector and for further promoting the adaptation and mitigation strategies were discussed.
At the end of the four day training programme, representatives from various banks shared a detailed plan of action for the development of customised green financing training modules. These modules were developed keeping into consideration their feasibility and possible incorporation in the bank’s training calendars. In addition, it was mapped out at which operational level the training modules can be imparted, to include more projects for screening and to appraise them from a green financing perspective.
A field visit organized by BIRD to a village near Kursi in Barabanki District, Uttar Pradesh, helped the participants to further visualise the impact of green financing on rural livelihoods. In this Village the local Regional Rural Bank (RRB) Aryavrat Gramin Bank supported individuals with loans for the installation of rooftop solar panels and batteries for home lighting.
The participants feedback, indicated that the whole process was successful and that the attending trainers of the banks would be able to carry forward the learning, to develop effective training programmes to build the capacities of bankers, to enable them to appraise Green Projects.
Mr. U Sethupichai, Chief Manager Union Bank of India, Bengaluru, Karnataka said: “This training programme was highly beneficial and we are now able to develop a customised training module on Green Financing for our bank and will incorporate this in our training calendar.”
Author: Umbrella Programme for Natural Resource Management – UPNRM