Green Latin America Awards 2019 - PAGE leads conversations on the role of the financial system to boost the development of the green economy in Latin America

The 6th edition of the Green Latin America Awards took place on 25 August 2019 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Launched in 2013, the Awards aim to energize the green economy of the Region: Latin America has the 23% of tropical forests, 31% of water resources and 70% of the planet's biodiversity. However, it is the region with most urban growth where 80% of the population live in cities; causing pressure on the environment therefore faces overpopulation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and water pollution.

The Award encourages the participation of governments, organizations, businesses, small businesses, communities and individuals that stand out for the care of the environment. It focuses on developing a sustainable world, among other, through public policies, sustainable use of resources, clean energy, new technologies and waste management.

In particular the Awards recognise projects and sustainable actions implemented in 10 categories that are inspired by the accomplishments of Sustainable Development Goals: Water; Forests and Flora; Sustainable cities; Human development, social inclusion and reduction of inequality; Energy; Wildlife; Sustainable finance; Solid waste management; Oceans; Production and responsible consumption.

In the framework of the 6th edition, PAGE organized a panel on “The Role of the financial system to boost the development of the green economy”, which analyzed the current conditions of the financial system and the role of alternative financing mechanisms to promote the green economy and achieve the SDGs.

The panel was composed by Marcela Ponce from the Climate Finance Lead for Latin America and the Caribbean at International Finance Corporation; Christina Lukeman, Investor Relations Leader at Agora Partnerships, Mexico; Ana López from Conservación Internacional, Costa Rica and Carlos Castaño from Banca de Desarrollo Sostenible, Colombia.

The discussions highlighted the challenges that Latin American financial institutions are facing to reach the micro-entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial sectors that are increasingly becoming key elements of the emerging green economy in the region. Among other, the panelists analysed and exchanged knowledge and experiences on the dynamics of the financial system to finance the SDGs and the growth of alternative financing mechanisms to face the lack of response of the traditional system.

Several studies have concluded that a significant increase in sustainable investment levels will be required to achieve the SDGs. It is estimated that 5 to 7 billion dollars will be required annually, by 2030. Conversations about sustainable finance is not only about the amount that is required, but about the type of finance. As PAGE continues to support countries to move towards an inclusive and green economy, a central issue is how to redirect investments and how to attract sustainable financing to green projects. Globally, there is a consensus that public finances alone are not enough. Therefore, the role of private financing institutions will continue to be key. Public, private and multi-lateral capital will be important.