This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sourajit Aiyer. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

How Can India Scale-up Green Finance?

More from Sourajit Aiyer

WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.

In 2018, the International Finance Corporation, (a private-sector arm of the World Bank), and Amundi, (a leading asset manager from France), launched the world’s largest green bond fund focused on emerging markets. The Amundi Planet Emerging Green One (EGO) fund would invest in green bonds issued by emerging markets. Examples like these would greatly help scale-up green finance in vulnerable emerging markets and increase their capacity to fund climate-smart investments.

Overall, nearly 1,500 global investors managing $45 trillion of assets have made public commitments towards responsible investment. This would expand access to green projects and achieve environment and social Return on Investment. It also signifies that institutional investors, who manage substantial corpus, are now becoming active in the green finance space, and it is to utilise the funds from these sources that Indian enterprises have scaled-up their issuance of green bonds.

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report said India ranked second, globally, in the attractiveness for renewable sector investments. Green bond issues, especially Indian private-sector players in renewable energy, were $3 billion in 2017, almost double from 2016 levels, as per Dealogic. But while the year-on-year doubling sounds impressive, the absolute value of $3 billion is dwarfed when compared to the trillions India needs. The Environment ministry estimates India will need $280 billion over the next five years for green infrastructure alone, while Moody’s Investors Service estimates India would need $150 billion over the next five years, to meet its 2022 renewable target of 175 GW.

Scaling Up Green Finance In India Would Require Targeted Policies

Green finance is essentially the funding of projects that save our natural environment from further degradation. India’s financial market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, mandates sectors like renewable energy, public transport, waste management, water conservation and biodiversity as environment-friendly. However, the policies may need to expand this further, to include the finance of projects related to agriculture and private transport and the broader industry, since these are also amongst the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Air, water and soil are the precious resources we need to protect for our future generations, who are already showing their unhappiness at the excesses of the previous generations. The policies also need to expand coverage in terms of not only preferring projects that are environment-friendly, but rather ensure every project undertaken by the finance industry in India is compliant with environmental standards.

The UK’s Green Finance Taskforce provides and advocates the policy roadmap for promoting green finance. It has also promoted London as a green finance hub, thus making the London Stock Exchange as the most sought-after green bond market globally. The India International Exchange in GIFT-City is India’s first international exchange promoted by the Bombay Stock Exchange. It launched its green bond platform in 2019, and aims to facilitate debt capital raising in any currency by both foreign and Indian issuers ($4 billion listed so far). Policies have to ensure that the listing process is made even more issuer-friendly so that it scales-up fast. The platform also needs to broaden its role in policy advocacy, in line with the UK’s Green Finance Taskforce. Policies should also seek to develop a disclosure framework in line with the TCFD recommendations, complemented by voluntary information.

Greening of investments can often come at the expense of short-term growth, its long-term benefits aside. Ergo, emerging markets like India need to reduce the cost of green investments in order to fuel a sharper uptick from issuers. Policies need to look at reducing the cost through partial guarantees from the multilateral or public sector bodies, through a hedging mechanism, to lower the hedging cost for the issue or other mechanisms that help reduce the cost of capital. That would imply joint action by the public and private sector, rather than by the private sector players alone. Credit support could also make the smaller issuers more attractive to risk-averse institutional investors.

Some Indian asset managers are now launching green-only funds, though these mainly focus on ESG (environment, social and governance) parameters, which judge the issuer rather than the project. There are some Alternative Investment Funds looking at this space. Policies have to support local fund structures that look to fund green projects and are able to mobilise dedicated debt capital from local investors accordingly. Starting with high net worth individuals, and Family Offices, followed by pension and insurance funds, once their investment restrictions on debt capital are lifted, and further from non-resident Indians, once foreign investment portfolio policies allow it.

In the end, financial policies have to develop approaches and instruments to mainstream green finance, and this needs collective effort by all the stakeholders; government, regulator, corporations and investors. And once designed and executed, policies need to hold consistent so that the investors gain the confidence to allocate further assets to this space. Lastly, policy also needs to build awareness and acceptability of green finance, both amongst the potential issuers and investors, so that more capital flows into, and is demanded, into such assets.

This post has been written by a YKA Climate Correspondent as part of #WhyOnEarth. Join the conversation by adding a post here.
You must be to comment.

More from Sourajit Aiyer

Similar Posts

By Paribha Vashist

By Prabhat Misra

By Bedanta Upadhyay

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below