Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA) and IFC Join Forces to Boost Green Buildings in Pakistan

Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA), in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), arranged a workshop on the benefits of green, resilient real estate investment, attended by participants from over 25 banks operating in Pakistan. A key area of focus was cooling for buildings, an area especially relevant to Pakistan given recent heat waves.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is a leader in investing and advising on green building practices globally. The workshop included sessions on the commercial value of green buildings for developers, the financial benefits for investors, and case studies highlighting the business case for green buildings across sectors including residential, offices, warehousing, and hospitals.

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The workshop enabled participatory banks to expand their capacity to support green real estate projects in the country, which should help foster long-term economic stability and growth.

In addition, it addressed cooling options for green buildings, which is pertinent given that Pakistan has the fifth highest demand for cooling in the world. This included options for participants to leverage IFC’s recently launched Sustainable Cooling Initiative.

Commenting on the occasion, Ahmed Bozai, Vice President – Pakistan Banks’ Association said, “PBA’s partnership with the IFC in green real estate investment exemplifies our joint commitment to sustainability. This collaboration aims to identify potential solutions and investment avenues towards fostering a low-carbon economy, reflecting our dedication to creating a sustainable environment for our communities.”

Participants also learned about other IFC programs supporting green building practices including two innovative free tools: IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency (EDGE), a green building certification system focused on making buildings resource-efficient, and the Building Resilience Index, an online hazard-mapping and resilience assessment framework. IFC’s Market Accelerator for Green Construction (MAGC) program provides concessional finance and technical training to partner banks.

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“The combination of IFC’s advice and financing provides great investment potential for banks in Pakistan,” said Naz Khan, IFC’s Principal Country Officer for Pakistan. “Local banks can access green finance and create a new asset class in Pakistan, while reducing harmful emissions and lowering costs for their customers. We believe these programs are beneficial for banks, developers, consumers, businesses, and the government.”

According to the World Bank Group’s Country Climate and Development Report for Pakistan, energy efficient buildings represent a $5.5 billion investment opportunity until 2050, as well as reducing emissions and costs, and creating a more resilient building stock to mitigate climate change shocks.

IFC has invested and mobilized almost $14 billion in green building finance, of which over $4 billion flowed through local financial institutions. IFC’s EDGE green buildings platform has additionally enabled over $81 billion in green buildings finance.

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