We can combat climate change together

29 October 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Claire Hobbs

Since the early 90s, the international community has committed to tackling the climate change issue but with little implementation of the suggested remedies. Instead, there is a marked increase in the effects of climate change worldwide.
In 1992, the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) identified the dangers of climate change by adopting the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The agreement, signed by participating nations, requires the world to reduce emissions and mitigate the greenhouse effect.
In 1995, the UN hosted the first Conference of Parties (COP) in Berlin, Germany. Comprising all signatories, COP is the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC. COP’s primary purpose is to negotiate and make collective decisions to contribute to the fight against climate change, where each meeting builds on successes and shortcomings of resolutions passed from the previous ones.
In the run-up to COP 26, starting on 31 October 2021, the importance of mitigating the climate crisis is in the spotlight. Climate change is happening faster than initially anticipated, with the world recording historically high temperatures and disastrous weather patterns. Multiple reports highlight the world’s lack of commitment to the targets set in previous COPs, such as the annual U$100 billion made by developed nations to fund poor developing countries to build resilience to climate change.
In the 2020 BioScience journal, 11 000 scientists endorsed the climate crisis. The article states, “We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live. Doing so entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”
As a country extremely vulnerable to climate change, Namibia has to secure a sustainable economy and propel sustainable development.

Collective, global and individual
In 2015, the world came together at COP15, which resulted in the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, to which Namibia is also a signatory. The outcome of COP15 was to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius (°C), with a target of 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this goal, all signatories must be committed to reducing emissions, becoming more adaptive and helping combat climate change.
On the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020, the organisation highlighted that rising global temperatures fuel environmental degradation, melting polar caps, increasing natural disasters, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflict, and terrorism. As a result, it is time for bold collective action and individuals each making our small contributions to the fight against climate change.
Namibia has taken the fight against climate change seriously and became the first country in Africa to incorporate environmental protection into its Constitution after independence in 1990. Government passed a law enabling communities to set up “conservancies”, giving communities the right to manage and benefit from their natural resources. Namibia has invested in climate adaption projects such as the Climate Resilient Agriculture in the Vulnerable Extreme (CRAVE) Project or the SUNREF Programme through the Environmental Investment Fund. CRAVE addresses climate-related challenges faced by farmers in northern Namibia. At the same time, SUNREF allowed various independent power producers to receive financing to develop Solar PV projects to build the country's capacity to produce its power.
Another commitment to fighting climate change, Namibia – with support from partners and donors – issued a bid for the production of green hydrogen. The initiative indicates Namibia’s ambition to become Africa’s first carbon-neutral country and a centre of renewable energy.
“Green hydrogen” – hydrogen made without fossil fuels – is a clean energy source that could be instrumental in net-zero emissions worldwide.

A connector of positive change
Bank Windhoek is a pioneer in sustainable finance with the Green Bond and a Sustainable Bond issuance in 2018 and 2021, a first for commercial financial services institutions in Southern Africa. Subsequently, Bank Windhoek became a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (Nasdaq) Sustainable Bond Network in New York.
Sustainability or Green Bonds, also known as “use-of-proceeds bonds”, are financial instruments utilised to raise additional sources of funding exclusively applied to finance or re-finance a combination of green and social projects. For instance, the Green Bond funded seven solar photovoltaic projects with the N$66 million raised, within 12 months after its issuance. The issuances of these types of instruments are a trend that financial institutions are following in Africa and a clear demonstration of their commitment to re-directing funds into responsible investments, moving from traditional profit-focused investments that disregard environmental and social considerations.
Bank Windhoek has also ring-fenced a portion of the Sustainability Bond proceeds as part of its offering to customers to apply for funding to finance small-scale sustainable solutions. The unique Sustainability Loan offering encourages investments in energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable agricultural projects to support Namibia’s transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. Each project will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and the final terms and conditions are based on the finance applicant’s repayment-ability and the overall risk profile of the project.
Covid-19 has accelerated the demand for innovative financial products. The pandemic is also indicative of how our environment can change and drastically impact many facets of life. To become resilient and adaptive, it is up to us to take charge and play our small part in the greater scheme of things.
*Claire Hobbs is Bank Windhoek’s Chief Treasurer.

Similar News

 

Giving the customer the experience they want

4 days ago - 18 January 2022 | Opinion

Windhoek • Kehad SnydewelIt is often said that we do not know what customer service is in Namibia.Well, I beg to differ.We definitely know what...

New year, same scams

1 week ago - 13 January 2022 | Opinion

Windhoek • Magreth MengoAs we enter the new year, we unfortunately still have the problem of dealing with scammers and fraudulent messages.We would have loved...

Cyber security protection tips for the new year

1 week ago - 12 January 2022 | Opinion

Windhoek • Martin HamukwayaThe Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has in recent years increased the shift and reliance in the use of information technology for...

Whistleblowing vs leaking information

1 week ago - 11 January 2022 | Opinion

Windhoek • Hilma Uutoni The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has adopted a philosophy of zero tolerance towards unlawful conduct, or any form of dishonesty,...

Renewable energy imperative for Namibia’s future

1 week ago - 11 January 2022 | Opinion

The United Nations (UN) has identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that we as humanity should be trying to achieve. All are noble, all are...

Regroup and become resilient

1 week ago - 09 January 2022 | Opinion

Windhoek • Dr John SteytlerI recently started engaging and writing about mental health. A precarious topic upon which to tread, as there is so much...

The Namibian House needs to be inclusive

1 month - 07 December 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Mathew HashoongoOver the last few years there has been a lot of talk about building the Namibian House and making it an inclusive,...

Leader for a Lifetime

1 month - 06 December 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Lindo AntonioDecember 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a day when the rights and well-being of all people with disabilities...

Savvy retirement

1 month - 02 December 2021 | Opinion

An unknown author once said, “retirement is wonderful if you have two essentials; much to live on and much to live for”.“With the Government Institutions...

#stayHEALTHY_staySOBER

1 month - 30 November 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Romanzo SteenkampNamibia braces itself for more socio-economic problems as food prices increase by 26.2%, but alcohol only with 12 %. Shocking! Does it...

Latest News

Chill with Windhoek Express

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Art and Entertainment

Recurring events• 07:00 Bio-Markt / Green Market at the Stephanus Church (Dr Kenneth Kaunda Street) in Windhoek until 12:00 every Saturday.• 16:00 Coffee and Cake...

Festival of classics at COTA

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Art and Entertainment

One of Namibia’s most gifted pianists, Johann van der Merwe, hosts a performance tomorrow (22 January) to raise money to support the Cancer Association of...

Raging river sweeps cars away

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Weather

Windhoek • [email protected] Elisenheim River swept motor vehicles away late on Wednesday night when a flash flood sped past the Farmers Kitchen restaurant at the...

La Niña still on a...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Weather

Grootfontein • [email protected] the met office issued a warming for today for widespread thunderstorms over the western half of the interior, a meteorologist believes the...

Onreëlmatighede vertraag die aanstelling van...

1 day - 21 January 2022 | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected] hoofstad se burgemeester, Sade Gawanas, sê daar is beweerde onreëlmatighede met betrekking tot die werwing van Stad Windhoek se uitvoerende hoof wat...

Judges dismiss same-sex marriage

2 days ago - 20 January 2022 | Local News

Jana-Mari SmithThree Windhoek High Court judges have dismissed the application by two Namibians and their foreign born spouses to have their marriages recognised in Namibia,...

Vyf damme kry water

2 days ago - 20 January 2022 | Environment

Elvira HattinghTeen gistermiddag om 14:50 het die Hardapdam nog sowat 289,3 m³ water per sekonde ingekry, terwyl nog drie ander nasionale damme sedert Maandag ‘n...

Am Weinberg joins Gondwana Collection

2 days ago - 20 January 2022 | Business

Come 1 February and the Am Weinberg Hotel will join the Gondwana portfolio in a management capacity. According to CEO Gys Joubert of Gondwana Collection...

Cycle lanes progressing well

2 days ago - 19 January 2022 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ Namibia) continue working towards sustainable mobility in the city.Together, the parties...

Load More