RCCI to achieve status of first green CCI: Nadeem

Zubair Qureshi

Since climate action (COP 26) is shaping our future, banks must embed human rights and ESG criteria into their business policies and operations, says a latest report on environmental commitments for energy projects in Pakistan – a case for responsible banking.

President of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI), Nadeem Rauf expressed these views while addressing the launching ceremony of the report, Gone Missing.”

My team and I as well are committed to achieve carbon-neutral status for Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pakistan’s first green chamber of commerce and industry, said Rauf.

We stand in solidarity with COP26 advocates seek-ing climate justice and we demonstrate our public commitment, uphold the spirit to become climate business leaders and build a resilient economy for Pakistan’s future generations and we also call upon banks to support business community’s endeavors to protect the environment and initiate green lending practices to promote business climate leaders,” he further said.

‘Gone Missing’ is an analysis of voluntary envi-ronmental commitments for energy projects in Paki-stan and ‘A case for responsible banking.’

Nadeem Rauf also highlighted RCCI is replicating the model in other business institutions and taking the green stewardship to schools, colleges and uni-versities of the Rawalpindi region.

The report was launched by Indus Consortium in collaboration with the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The meeting was attended by members from the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Deputy Chief Manager, State Bank of Pakistan, representative from the Muslim Commercial Bank, executive members of RCCI and civil society representatives from across Pakistan.

This report is intended to inform evidence-based policies and programmes for achieving compliance with environmental, social and governance criteria to pave path towards a carbon-neutral, resilient economy.

The report highlights energy project financing re-quires due diligence by the lenders to ensure the environment and local communities’ well-being is taken into consideration.

It also highlights the role of the financial sector to take initiative on green banking guidelines where banks transit from report-ing to compliance and banks take leadership roles to develop their own SOPs which are compliant to the global ESG criteria and UN guiding principles on responsible banking while lending/project financing in the energy and the other sectors.

The report also highlights 1.65 million Thari population is deprived of clean drinking water due to non- due diligence of environmental and social considerations of the en-ergy projects in Thar.

Speaking at the occasion, Hussain Jarwar, Chief Executive Officer, Indus Consortium said, 60% of global carbon emissions are emitted by five coun-tries including China, US, Russia, India and Japan.

The private sector, corporations and banks must work collectively with the government of Pakistan to promote environmentally sustainable economic growth.

Highlighting civil society’s role to taking the climate change agenda forward, Mr. Jarwar said Indus Consortium and the GROW Green Network, a civil society network of 22 CSOs in Sindh and Pun-jab continue to generate debate at the local, aca-demic and media level on green recovery, green financing and green development of Pakistan.

Safia Hammad, Deputy Chief Manager, State Bank of Pakistan (Rawapindi region) said the business community must also focus on green sustainable initiatives to boost economic growth in the country.

She said the State Bank fully promotes the Green Banking Guidelines with banks to adapt new busi-ness models which ensure conservation of the envi-ronment.

Representative from the Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) also highlighted State Bank’s critical role for adapting the Green Banking Guidelines for op-erational staff of the banks.

Addressing the participants, Mr. Asim Malik, Senior Vice President, RCCI made a strong commitment to harness the green culture in the Rawalpindi Cham-ber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Talat Awan,

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