Aiming at “supercharging” India’s green finance sector, the City of London Corporation, the financial hub of the British capital, on Thursday unveiled a series of recommendations, including reducing structural barriers to investment and innovative financing mechanisms tailored to the Indian landscape.
In a report titled ‘Untapped Potential: Supercharging Green Finance in India’, the corporation alongside the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) explores the opportunities and challenges for sustainable finance in India.
The report, which has inputs from the UK-India Green Finance Working Group, calls on policymakers to reduce barriers to investment in order to accelerate the development of India’s green finance sector, including the Rupee-denominated Masala Bond market.
“The UK is a leading global hub for green finance, home to many world-class institutions from all stages of the investment lifecycle, from project conception to delivery and advisory,” said City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness.
“India is a market with incredible diversity of opportunity and collaboration between our two countries gives us a chance to make a real difference to the climate change efforts. We are, therefore, delighted to be launching this step towards supercharging relations between the UK and India,” she said.
Some of the other main recommendations from the report cover the need for increased transparency and standards; greater visibility of opportunities and funding gaps; further government cooperation to building domestic support in India, greater technical experience sharing among regulators; and targeted policy reforms and incentives, such as changes to the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for issuers with green track records.
FICCI Secretary General Dilip Chenoy described the new report as a welcome step towards India-UK cooperation in the field.
“Sustainable finance is indeed an imperative for achieving low-carbon, inclusive and stable growth for India. India and UK have a long-standing relationship and both countries can mutually collaborate and proactively support initiatives on green growth and investment internationally to unlock domestic and international flow of green capital,” he said.
The UK-India Green Finance Working Group was founded in May this year to showcase best practice among London-based firms with an interest in sustainable infrastructure projects in India.
Chaired by Richard Abel, Managing Director for UK Climate Investments at Macquarie, and Hitendra Dave, Managing Director at HSBC India, the working group aims at creating a link between London-based service providers with a business interest in green infrastructure in India, and Indian-based firms searching for expertise or financing through the UK-India Green Finance Dialogue and Partnership.
Dave said, “Both India and the UK are witnessing a greater understanding of new opportunities created by the convergence of the economic and environmental priorities. The report is indeed a very high quality first report being launched at the most opportune time and should act as an anchor and reference point as we all move to the next stage of implementation, policy advocacy and defining and executing the more granular steps to scale up sustainable finance for India.”