Green finance straddles every component of the financial sector - from retail to corporate banking, asset management to insurance, sub-dept to venture capital and everything in between. While most financial institutions have at least dabbled in green finance, some firms make it the focus of their business. What we have yet to fully realize, however, is the enormous potential of this new sector as an agent of change in the transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
As with any innovative sector, new competencies and understandings need to be developed, nurtured, and standardized in order to create a level and secure playing field. Traditional financial evaluation criteria like repayment schedules and return-on-investment terms do not always accommodate the unique concerns and core strengths of the green sector. Research into standards and accepted systems that quantify the value created by energy savings and carbon reductions is fairly new in Canada and more work needs to be done to identify financial tools that have emerged to address the unique needs of the green sector.
Working with financial institutions, venture capital funds, governments, utilities and pension funds, Carbon Talks seeks to profile innovative financing models that accelerate the transition to the low-carbon economy while developing solutions to address the barriers to growth for this sector.