• Sat. May 18th, 2024

2 day long 1st Sustainable Finance Working Group meeting concludes today

The two days of intensive discussions of the first meeting of the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) successfully concluded today.

The 1st SFWG meeting was attended in person by 95 delegates from G20 member countries, 10 invitee countries and 14 international organisations like IMF, NGFS, World Bank, UNDP, UNEP Fi, ADB, NDB, FSB among others. Many other international organisations joined the meeting virtually.

The meeting was inaugurated by Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of AYUSH and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways where he welcomed the delegates and highlighted the diverse ethnicity and culture of Guwahati. He said “the culture and heritage and the spirit of conservation of nature in Guwahati is reflective of India’s pro-planet and people-centric approach”. Explaining the role of traditional medicine in a sustainable future he said “The aim is to channel India’s ancient wisdom and traditional knowledge, and capitalize on it to pave the way for a sustainable future”.

SFWG aims to mobilise sustainable finance to help ensure global growth and stability and promote the transition towards greener, more resilient, and inclusive societies and economies.

The co-chairs for SFWG are USA and China.  Larry McDonald, Assistant Secretary at U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Wang Xin, Director-General, Research Bureau, People’s Bank of China.They have been very supportive of all the agenda items in our Presidency.

The G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) in Guwahati discussed 3 priority areas :

  1. Mechanismsisation of timely and adequate resources for climate finance
  2.  Enabling finance for the Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Capacity building of the ecosystem for financing toward sustainable development.

Priority one on mobilisation of timely and adequate resources for climate finance had wide-ranging support. The paper prepared by the Government of India as the Presidency input paper for the priority was also supported as a good basis for the discussion. As far as the issues are concerned there was an agreement that the public sector and MDBs play a critical role in the mobilisation of finance at scale and reasonable cost. All workshops planned during the meeting such as those supporting early-stage climate technology from infancy to deployment and the conference on the non-price policy measures, were well received. All member countries felt that the discussion on priority was timely and were supportive of the priority and the workshops planned as side events to the meetings.

Priority 2 of the working group focuses on enabling finance for the Sustainable Development Goals. The domestic financing gap for SDGs faced by several countries has increased over the years. With only seven years left to achieve Agenda 2030, scaling-up of sustainable finance is urgently needed to respond to the challenges of a changing world.

The SFWG in 2023 will develop an analytical framework for financing select SDGs to complement the G20 Sustainable Finance Roadmap and will make recommendations to the stakeholders. Additionally, SFWG would also compile a compendium of case studies of best practices on financing for SDGs by jurisdictions, IOs and private sector, as an outcome of a side event.

The deliberations on this agenda item have gone off well and it received a lot of support on this from the member countries and international organisations.

The third priority, which is capacity building of the ecosystem for financing sustainable development, has been taken up because in many countries there is a lack of adequate knowledge and a scarcity of skilled professionals and workforce in sustainable finance.  Skilled workforce is always a huge asset especially in area of sustainable finance and forms the key to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

To address these challenges, in 2023, the SFWG will develop a G20 Sustainable Finance Technical Assistance Action Plan (TAAP). It would include identification and analysis of existing capacity-building activities and identifying the existing sustainable finance skill gaps.

Based on this, SFWG would give recommendations for IOs, MDBs, International NGOs, and country authorities on how to scale up capacity-building services and explore ways to form a global network for sustainable finance capacity building.

This agenda item has also been received with lot of support and cooperation from all the countries.

Promoting the idea of vocal for local, an exhibition of local products showcasing the rich culture and heritage of Assam was organised on the side lines of the meeting. Many organisations including state cooperatives, small medium enterprises, startups among others were part of the exhibition.

The delegates also participated in local sightseeing including a wildlife safari to Kaziranga National Park, visiting Brahmaputra sandbar island on the river cruise and visit to old governor house.

A phenomenal display of rich culture and heritage of Assam was organised for the delegates in Brahmaputra sandbar island. There were various cultural performances like Folk Bihu Dance, Sattriya dance, Tiwa dance, Mising bihu dance, Tal jhomok, Hajong dance, Gayan Bayan, Bodo dance, Rabha dance and Jhumur dance. The cultural performances were enhanced by using traditional musical instruments like Doba, Sankha, Bor Dhol, and Mridanga. Delegates also experienced the culture of Assam through the Ethnic village constructed in the sandbar island.

The discussions in this meeting will inform the First G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Indian presidency, which will be held on 24-25 Feb, 2023 in Bengaluru.


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