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 organized by the Yecham Property Consult in conjunction with the IFC–EDGE Program and supported by the Embassy of Denmark.
Speaking on behalf of the Bank, the 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 of the 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 the Covid-19 pandemic 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 that are subsidized by the Government to buy properties that are approved as environmentally friendly, utilize clean energy and nurture the green environment. “Just as the Government has partnered banks to offer affordable mortgage rates to public sector workers, I believe in its effort to promote SDGs, the Government should partner the banks by providing subsidies on loans to finance houses that 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, the Government’s affordable housing projects should also focus on promoting green buildings” – Mr. Gyebi added.
Supporting the proposal by the General Manager of Risk Management, the Manager of Mortgage Business – Republic Bank, Mr. Frank Oppong-Yeboah also made a strong case for the issuance of a Green Bond by the 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 $161 billion 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 step 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 organized by Yecham Property Consult in conjunction with the IFC–EDGE Program 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 whilst conserving natural resources. Also speaking at the summit was the Minister for Housing Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, Mayor of Accra, Hon. 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.