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Preparing Financial Sectors for a Green Future: Managing Risks and Securing Sustainable Finance
IMF
2024.02.21
The financial sectors of the Middle East and Central Asia (ME&CA) countries should play an important role in supporting climate-related policies for the region. The sectors are vulnerable to downside risks from climate-related shocks and at the same time offer the potential to help fill the financing gap for needed adaptation and mitigation strategies. Successful approaches to climate change in the region therefore need to coherently integrate financial sector strategies within the overall policy framework to meet this important challenge. To this end, policymakers must ensure that financial sectors are prepared for a green future. This means enhancing the resilience of banks to physical and transition risks from climate change and boosting the capacity of insurance sectors to speed recovery from climate-related disasters and help offset economic costs. Moreover, policies are needed to foster an enabling environment for private green finance, attract investment from other official entities, such as sovereign wealth funds (SWF), and facilitate support from international financial institutions and multilateral development banks.
The paper offers a unique regional perspective on climate risks in ME&CA‘s financial sectors and outlines the road ahead in transitioning to a green future. It is the first to evaluate the impact of climate change on banking institutions in the region and assess the capacity of insurance in mitigating climate-related damages and losses. It contributes to the existing literature by synthesizing the size and nature of regional financing needs for adaptation and mitigation and discussing both opportunities and challenges for the development of green finance. The paper‘s policy recommendations provide guidance to policymakers on how to develop regulatory responses to enhance financial sustainability amid climate change risks.