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Kenya’s largest bank KCB receives UN greenlight to fund Green projects

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KCB Bank Kenya has been accredited by the United Nations Green Climate Fund as the first financial intermediary for the implementation of green financing in East Africa.

The accreditation paves way for the Bank to receive funds from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for on-lending to beneficiary institutions involved in the development of green-climate resilient investment assets/projects in Kenya as well as in the region where the bank operates as the implementing entity.

The accreditation was announced during the 27th Green Climate Fund Board Meeting, in Songdo, South Korea. This followed an extensive due-diligence assessment, conducted by GCF since 2017 to ascertain the Bank’s preparedness in managing climate change programmes.

The bank is the first lender in Kenya and private sector entity to receive this accreditation, cementing the sustainability efforts within the Group especially for portfolio re-imagining in the green lending space, KCB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Joshua Oigara said.

“We are very proud of the efforts and investment we have put over the years to mainstream and entrench sustainable business that has earned us this recognition. It is a milestone for the bank and the country as it opens up investment and development of the green economy through GCF support,” Group CEO said.

The Bank has been accredited under the medium to large private sector category, therefore, capable of fronting projects of between USD 50 Million (Ksh.5 billion) and USD 250 Million (Ksh.25 billion).

KCB Bank Kenya was nominated by National Treasury under the Ministry of Finance to participate in Green Climate Fund Accreditation in 2017. Under the GCF programme, the National Treasury is the National Designated Authority (NDA) for accrediting entities who apply for funding through GCF in Kenya.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani welcomed the development and said the accreditation underpins Kenya’s position as a leader in green finance.

“Kenya was among the first seven countries in the world whose institutions were accredited by the Green Climate Fund Board for direct access of resources from the Fund in March 2015. KCB’s accreditation now cements Kenya’s strong leadership and prowess in green finance. It opens the private sector window for climate mitigation and adaptation projects and programs investments in the country.  It is a key milestone that the bank is the first locally established lender and private entity to be accredited as the direct access in the medium category to receive up to USD 250 Million,” said Mr Yatani.

Kenya has continued to play a leading role in implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change Advocacy in the global and local platform.  This GCF accreditation is, therefore, a plus to the country’s efforts to support sustainable growth.

By this, accreditation the bank attains direct access to funding for the financing of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, as well as grants for capacity building, said Mr. Yatani.

Kenya being a signatory to the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, Paris agreement, SDGs and numerous global and regional frameworks geared to climate action has put a lot of efforts to operationalize various policies and Act of Parliament, yet not at scale that is required to avert the looming climate emergencies and catastrophes being experienced globally.

The fund will also enable KCB Bank Kenya to sustainably support the country’s aspirations including the Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030.

“We already have certain sectors that we are looking to invest in, that will reduce green gas emissions, however, the fund will generally enable us to fill the climate finance gaps in all the sectors of the economy. The accreditation gives us an opportunity to scale up a much more global capability that we didn’t have before” Mr. Oigara added.

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