Green Finance Talk: New Zealand Ministerial Delegation visits BPNG

By: Roselyn Erehe May 20, 2024

The Roundtable discussion help between NZ Delegation and PNG Delegation at BPNG in Port Moresby. -image provided SCA GFC

The Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) welcomed a distinguished ministerial delegation from New Zealand to discuss the progress and initiatives of the Green Finance Centre (GFC) in the context of climate resilience in Papua New Guinea.

The meeting, held on May 13, 2024, underscored the pivotal role of green finance in addressing climate change challenges facing the island nation.

The round table discussion facilitated an exchange of insights among officials from the New Zealand Ministerial Delegation, BPNG, the Climate Change Development Authority (CCDA), and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Led by the New Zealand Minister of Climate Change, Hon. Simon Watt, MP, the NZ delegation commended the BPNG for its leadership in establishing foundational structures for green finance in PNG noting that the Central Bank can be can be proud of this.

Hon. Watts emphasized that climate change is fundamentally an economic issue. He added that New Zealand, which is also advancing its Green Taxonomy, is eager to assist the Green Finance Centre in harmonizing its Inclusive Green Taxonomy.

"The New Zealand Government is impressed with the Bank of Papua New Guinea’s approach to creating a resilient and stable financial system," Hon. Watts stated.

He expressed New Zealand's interest in collaborating with like-minded countries in the green finance sector, noting that both countries experience the impact of climate events with similar intensity, thereby presenting mutual opportunities for assistance in adaptation and mitigation efforts.

PNG, being an island nation, faces heightened vulnerability to climate crisis such as floods, droughts, rising sea levels, and strong winds. The collaboration between the New Zealand government and BPNG aims to address these challenges by integrating green finance policies into the country's financial ecosystem.

Mrs. Elizabeth Genia, Governor of the BPNG, conveyed through Deputy Governor Mr. Jeffrey Yabom, a message to the Ministerial delegation emphasizing BPNG's mission to serve the people of PNG.

This mission involves implementing effective monetary policy and maintaining a sound and inclusive financial system, she noted, highlighting the systemic implications of climate-related events and policy changes on financial markets and underscoring the need for proactive measures to address climate-related risks.

In response to climate change-related issues, the BPNG is dedicated to playing a pivotal role in safeguarding market stability by proactively addressing climate-related risks and strengthening resilience.

Bank of PNG, Assistant Governor, Mr George Awab, who is also the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Green Finance Centre, stressed a focus on normalizing required finance not only at the international level but also domestically. 

Getting the support from the New Zealand government is to develop the Green Climate Center, which is the key Agency, he said.

The establishment of the Green Finance Centre, supported by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), marks a significant milestone in promoting green growth and economic diversification in Papua New Guinea.

Funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under the Low Emission Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) program, the GFC aims to integrate inclusive green finance policies into lending operations, fostering financial inclusion and sustainable investment activities.

In partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), GGGI developed the Inclusive Green Finance Policy (IGFP) in 2023.

This initiative, funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) with a grant of USD 670,000 under the Low Emission Climate Resilient Development (LECRD) program, led to the establishment of the GFC.

The GFC is mandated to implement the IGFP and Roadmap and oversee other green finance initiatives in the country aimed at mitigating climate-related risks, promoting green finance, and catalyzing investments towards a more sustainable future.

The primary goal of the project is to develop and integrate the Inclusive Green Finance Policy (IGFP) into the lending operations of financial institutions. This integration aims to create a financial ecosystem conducive to financial inclusion, green growth in investment activities, and economic diversification, which in turn will lead to an increase in green jobs.

Hon. Watts reiterated New Zealand's commitment to advancing green finance initiatives and expressed eagerness to collaborate with Papua New Guinea on harmonizing green taxonomies.

He emphasized the economic dimensions of climate change, stating, "The way we address today's pressing climate issues will shape our future."

The significant roundtable meeting was attended by, New Zealand Delegation; Hon. Simon, Watts, Minister of Climate Change, Hon. Dr Shane Reti, Minister of Health, and Minister for Pacific People.

New Zealand MPs Hon. Tim van de Molen, MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Committee, and Hon. David Parker, an MP for the Labour Party (not current in Government) and opposition spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, were present.

Gerardine Clifford, Chief Executive, Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Charlie Gillard, Deputy High Commissioner, New Zealand High Commission and Laura Holder, First Secretary, New Zealand High Commission were also with the delegation.

Accompanying the NZ delegates were Jessica Rowe, Private Secretary, Minister of Climate Change; Nelson Tiatia, Private Secretary to Minister Reti; Charlotte Gendall, Press Secretary to Minister Reti; Ramphaey Gime, Development Programme Coordinator; and Cynthia Duoribi, Policy Adviser.

PNG delegation attendees included Mr Jeffrey Yabom, Deputy Governor BPNG; Mr George Awap, Asst. Governor BPNG and Chair Steering Committee GFC; Ms. Debra Sungi, Acting Managing Director, Climate Change and Development Authority;

Mr. Mohinesh Prasad, Head of Green Finance Centre; Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, Executive Director CEFI; Mr. Peter Samuel, Deputy Executive Director, CEFI; Mr. Peniamina  Leavai, Deputy Country Rep, GGGI PNG; and Mr. Angus Moina, SCA GFC.

During the roundtable discussion, BPNG Assistant Governor Mr. Awap, who also serves as Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Green Finance Centre, thanked the New Zealand Government for its regional leadership on climate change.

Mr. Awap highlighted the critical role of the Green Finance Centre in fostering a sustainable financial ecosystem in PNG.

Mr. Prasad, Head of the Green Finance Centre, updated the delegation on the significant progress the GFC has made and its forthcoming initiatives aimed at greening PNG’s financial system.

Through leadership, guidance, and support, the Centre will mitigate climate-related risks, promote green finance, and catalyze investments toward a more sustainable future for PNG, he said.

Key outcomes from the discussion include New Zealand's continued support for the Green Finance Centre's mandate and intentions to collaborate with Papua New Guinea on carbon markets. The collaborative efforts between the two nations reflect a shared commitment to building resilient and sustainable financial systems in the face of climate change challenges.

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