Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, Chairperson of the Commercial International Bank – Egypt (CIB), revealed that the bank has actively participated in financing numerous new and renewable energy projects in Egypt. The primary goal is to contribute to achieving a target of 30% renewable energy projects by 2030, with electricity generation from solar and wind sources. Interestingly, other countries, including Kenya and Tanzania, are also leveraging geothermal energy in their energy mix, as noted by Ezz Al-Arab.

The total financing volume provided by CIB in the field of renewable energy and waste management amounts to an impressive $300m.

Ezz Al-Arab made these statements during his participation in the “Climate Risk Mitigation: The Role of Financial Institutions” symposium, held on the sidelines of Wall Street events in Kenya.

CIB’s participation in that symposium is in alignment with the guiding principles of the bank’s strategy and objectives towards the environment and climate change. It clearly reflects the bank’s commitment to sustainable financing practices, out of its firm belief in the importance of providing sustainable and innovative solutions to reduce the negative effects of climate change.

During the symposium, Ezz Al-Arab spoke about the role of financial institutions in contributing to reducing harmful emissions and addressing the negative impact of climate change. He noted that Africa’s emissions do not exceed 5% of the Earth’s total emissions; however, African countries still endures the lion’s share of the consequences. That includes dealing with floods, drought, and other phenomena, which takes a toll on the lives of African peoples.

Ezz Al-Arab highlighted the sustainability policies that the CIB has implemented to reach the target environmental performance, by adopting paper recycling initiatives, and saving water and electricity, in addition to moving to the the new building in Smart Village – first building that supports green transformation in Egypt.

He also pointed out that environmental risks are integral to CIB’s risk model, and are very similar to market risks, credit risks, and cyber risks. The bank has made major effort in changing its strategies and policies, and as a result, it was able to turn the Sustainability Committee into one of its key committees.

Regarding the biggest obstacle facing financial institutions, capital remains the culprit, according to Ezz Al-Arab, especially those who know the size of the Dark Continent and the size of the investment needed to challenge floods, rising sea levels and drought, in addition to transforming the African economy to a new form that is able to adapt to green energy and water recycling.

Ezz Al-Arab pointed out that Africa does not need funding, but rather needs help in preventing disasters. “We must work together, hand in hand, to prevent disasters,” he said.

He also noted that the regulatory authorities in the United States have started conducting the first round of climate risks, and sought the help of the 10 largest banks to find out the possibility of assessing climate risks. Accordingly, the bank has concluded several deals with large financial institutions such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

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