We attended the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) held in Poland between December 3rd and 14th. At the event, which lasted two weeks, as Turkey’s leader in sustainable banking, we shared our distinct and innovative practices in sustainability via various products and solutions we offer with the country representatives from all around the world.
Gathering 190 country representatives worldwide, 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) was held in Katowice, Poland between December 3rd and 14th. The purpose of the meetings held at the two-week long conference, which was attended by non-governmental organisations, climate scientists and various organisations and institutions that play an active role in tackling climate change, was to determine a set of guidelines for implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. One of the most significant issues discussed throughout the conference was granting the required financial support for implementing the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.
During the conference, with the aim to share and promote the work carried out in our country to tackle climate change at an international level, we informed about our pioneering practices and the contributions of the finance sector in Turkey. We were among the organisations representing Turkey in the COP24 with our various distinctive and innovative practices in sustainability, including our products and solutions, such as the first social bond issue to developing countries, green mortgage and the first green loan in Turkey.
Derya Özet Yalgı, the Sustainability Manager at our bank and a member of the Steering Committee of Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), a joint initiative of World Bank and IMF, who is also the chairperson at various working groups that focus on sustainable banking and finance, at platforms including Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) and UN Global Compact Turkey, represented Turkey at 3 panels held as part of COP24. Yalgı participated to the Major Economies Business Forum on Energy Security and Climate Change (BizMEF) held by TUSIAD on December 10th to give information on the assessments related to finance sector in tackling climate change, and the panel held by TUSIAD on December 11th to inform about the suggestions in financing models and incentives. Moreover, Yalgı was the moderator of the session participated by Richard Betts from Ernst & Young, Erhan Çalışkan from TSKB, Fatih Memiş from Arçelik in the "Sustainable Finance in Tackling Climate Change" session, which was also held by TUSIAD on December 11th. During the session, suggestions on how to finance the implementation required by the Paris Agreement and speeding up the transition process to the low carbon economy were discussed. During the session held by Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization on December 13th and attended by the specialists from Is Bankasi, Sekerbank and TSKB, along with our bank, Yalgı talked about our leading practices on sustainable finance models.
The bank that has its signature on the 'first's in sustainability
So far, we have achieved several firsts and offered many successful products on sustainability. We were the only bank from Turkey that is a part of the founding members of Responsible Banking Principles launched in Paris on November 26th. One of the most significant practices that we achieved this year in terms of sustainability was the first Green Loan agreement in Turkey that we have signed with Zorlu Energy. According to the Green Loan structure, we encourage the sustainability performance of Zorlu Energy in environmental, social and corporate governance areas by offering a decrease in the loan's interest. If Zorlu Energy increases its performance in line with the defined criteria, Garanti BBVA will implement a reduction in the interest of the loan. Initiated for the first time in Turkey and yet a quite recent application adopted worldwide, the Green Loan agreement, based on this product, is one of the four agreements in the similar structure worldwide. The total volume of 41 green loan agreements worldwide amount to EUR 28.4 billion.
Following the first social bond issue in the emerging markets, we have also taken a pioneering role in the sector on sustainable finance with the first Green Loan in Turkey as well as being a party to the loan agreement regarding the first Green Project Finance in Turkey. As Garanti BBVA, we served as the facility agent and green loan coordinator to Turkey’s first Green Project Finance agreement signed between four national and two international banks and Akfen Renewables.