DBN offers finance for climate adaptation

11 October 2021 | Banking

STAFF REPORTER



WINDHOEK

The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced a facility to finance climate-change adaptation, bolstering its long track record of financing environmental and social initiatives.

CEO Martin Inkumbi said it provides an affordable and tailored financing solution for climate and environmentally friendly projects.

The bank has previously financed low-carbon renewable energy generation, water reclamation for industrial use in Walvis Bay, water storage at Neckartal Dam and reclamation initiatives.

Inkumbi said finance for climate adaptation is important, and there is a range of affordable financing instruments for such business projects.

He added that the bank has already pioneered financing models for renewable energy, and is now setting its sights on energy and water use efficiency, as well as mitigating the effects of rising temperatures.

Inkumbi said in the face of prolonged droughts, there is an opportunity for enterprises to invest in water efficiency.

According to DBN, investing in technology and processes that are energy and water efficient improves profitability.

Although water efficiency will not alleviate drought, it can lead to improvements in enterprises’ bottom line, in addition to preserving the environment.

Energy and water

Inkumbi urged enterprises to examine their energy and water usage and develop innovative methods to reduce their water usage and associated costs.

He added that there was still scope for further development in terms of water recycling, reclamation and storage in abattoirs.

The CEO further said that there is a two-fold cost when it comes to rising temperatures - the cost of cooling facilities, and the cost of mitigating health issues caused by heat.

The cost of cooling facilities adds to the cost of an enterprise. It also places a burden on power generation.

By constructing plants and facilities with heat dissipation in mind, these circumstances can be mitigated.

Incorporating heat dissipation in homes would reduce the cost of running a household as well as improving the health of residents.

Risk management

Asked how the facility would benefit enterprises and initiatives, Inkumbi said there is an understandable reticence to finance projects with unfamiliar financing outcomes. This was the case when DBN pioneered finance for privately-owned renewable energy.

The bank, however, de-risks innovative projects with extensive due diligence on innovation and absorbs, manages and learns from its risks.

In this way, it hopes to pioneer financing for climate change adaptation that will make Namibia more sustainable.

Inkumbi called on engineers, architects, consultants and project managers to lean more towards energy and water efficient designs, and for businesses to approach the bank for finance.

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