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International renewable energy agency opens bank account with "green" bank

Aug 24, 2009 - Al-Bawaba

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today announced that Director-General Helene Pelosse has opened the agency's bank account with Standard Chartered Bank, an international "green bank" that works to drive sustainable economic growth worldwide, reinforcing the agency's commitment to promoting a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy on a global scale.

Officially established on 26 January 2009, IRENA envisages providing practical advice and support for both industrialised and developing countries, thereby helping to improve frameworks and build capacity. Moreover, IRENA intends to facilitate access to all relevant information, including reliable data on the potentials for renewable energy, best practices, effective financial mechanisms, and state-of-the-art technological expertise.

"Standard Chartered is not only a sound financial institution, but its leadership in social and environmental governance makes it the ideal bank for IRENA. Their work in communities in emerging nations like Africa, Asia and the Middle East has helped foster economic growth, tackle climate change, poverty and other barriers to social, environmental and economic progress," said Pelosse.

IRENA and Standard Chartered boast a shared vision for a sustainable future. Standard Chartered recognises the impacts of climate change and is working to respond to these challenges by supporting clean and renewable technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and embedding a sustainability approach in their financing decisions and risk management.

Shayne Nelson, Regional CEO, MENA, Standard Chartered Bank said: "We are delighted the International Renewable Energy Agency has selected Standard Chartered as their 'Green' bank of choice. We have already financed more than $3.2bn of renewable energy and clean technology projects and remain committed to growing this part of our business. Our ambition is to continue to play a lead role in advising and financing clients on renewable energy projects and to contribute to securing a better environment for future generations."

Building a sustainable business is integral to Standard Chartered's strategy, and is the Bank's response to a rapidly changing world, multiple stakeholder needs and global challenges such as climate change. Already a signatory to the Equator Principals, in 2007 the Bank made a pledge to the Clinton Global Initiative to advise on or finance new renewable and clean energy projects totalling $8-10 billion of total project value over the next five years. At a meeting on 29 June of IRENA's 136 member states, the United Arab Emirates' capital of Abu Dhabi was selected as the headquarters, and Pelosse was elected as the interim director-general.