MCB Adopts the Equator Principles

Port Louis, 15 May 2012

The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd. (MCB) is pleased to announce its adoption of the Equator Principles, a voluntary set of guidelines to assess and manage environmental and social risks in project finance. The Equator Principles were introduced in 2003 under the aegis of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation.

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Keeping an eye on China’s bankers

14 May 2012 – China Dialogue, Wang Haotong

The financial industry remains secretive about the loans it makes, but tireless campaigning by green groups offers hope for change. Wang Haotong reports on the latest civil-society assessment of Chinese banks. ... Whether or not banks subscribe to international environmental norms is an important marker of their performance in this area. But the number of Chinese financial institutions adopting global green-lending standards has stayed stubbornly low. Industrial Bank has outstripped its peers here, having signed up to the Equator Principles – a voluntary set of standards for assessing social and environmental risk in project financing – as well as the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Carbon Disclosure Project, a scheme that tracks the carbon emissions and climate actions of the world’s biggest firms. Read More.

ING Elected as New Chair of Equator Principles Association Steering Committee

We are very pleased to announce that the Equator Principles (EP) Association Steering Committee has elected a new Chair for the 2012/13 mandate. ING is honoured to accept the appointment and assumes the position of Chair on 1 May 2012. One of the first tasks in the Chair role is leading the EP III Stakeholder Consultation and Public Comment process. ING looks forward to continuing this important leadership role, held by Citi for the last 2 years, particularly during this crucial period. ING believes that a robust consultation and public comment process is a fundamental requirement for incorporating the input from stakeholders and ensuring transparency.

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Exorcising the Resource Curse: Some Innovative Ideas

27 April 2012 - Council on Foreign Relations, Stewart M. Patrick

Among the many frustrations in development, perhaps none looms larger than the “resource curse.” Perversely, the worst development outcomes—measured in poverty, inequality, and deprivation—are often found in those countries with the greatest natural resource endowments. Rather than contributing to freedom, broadly shared growth, and social peace, rich deposits of oil and minerals have often brought tyranny, misery, and insecurity to these nations. Read More.

Banks to get a green sheen

27 April 2012 - Financial Review, Australia, John Roskam

Soon there will be something else to beat up the banks about. Politicians will have more than just interest rate rises, billion-dollar profits and CEO salaries to get upset about. Banking and biodiversity will be the new battleground. … regulating the banks themselves could potentially stop entire categories of projects, not just particular projects, as happens now. And the sort of projects that have the most impact on biodiversity are the sort of projects the country is more in need of – namely infrastructure and specifically roads and ports. Read More.

When Seeking Long-Term Profit, Consider Long-Term Environmental Risks

6 April 2012 - Triple Pundit

While investment banks have typically financed whatever clients request, the Equator Principles developed by the World Bank have set environmental and social guidelines that have taken hold because they also address and mitigate investment risk. For project finance, which includes $315 billion of annual debt and equity going to new energy or infrastructure developments worldwide, the Equator Principles are applied in nearly 75 percent of those transactions, many of which happen in emerging economies (Project Finance; Environmental Data Services 2008). These principles have gradually spilled over into the everyday financings of some investment banks. Read More.

Are Thai Bankers' Ready for the Equator Principles? An Interview with the Secretary-General of The Thai Bankers Association

4 April 2012 - IFC

As a growing number of Thai banks finance ever more hydropower projects in the Mekong region, IFC is striving to raise the sustainability of such multi-million dollar infrastructure investments by familiarizing banks with environmental and social risk management tools.  Earlier this month, IFC and The Thai Bankers’ Association held a workshop in Bangkok to discuss how Thai banks can manage their exposure to environmental and social risks while taking leadership in fostering sustainable economic growth in the Mekong region. Read More.

Five Questions about the Equator Principles

2 April 2012 - Earth Capital Partners, Richard Burrett

"The Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary set of standards for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project financing. Project financiers often encounter environmental and social issues that are both complex and challenging, particularly with respect to projects in the emerging markets.  Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) commit to not providing loans to projects where the borrower will not or is unable to comply with their respective environmental and social policies as well as procedures that implement the EPs. The Equator Principles were developed by private sector banks and launched in June 2003. The banks have modeled on the environmental and social standards and policies of the International Finance Corporation (IFC); now called Performance Standards. The Equator Principles have become the de facto standard for banks and investors on how to assess major development projects around the world." Read More.

Equator Principles III better be good

29 March 2012 - BankTrack, Johan Frijns

The Equator Principles Association (Association) this week announced a new delay in the release of the third version of the Equator Principles (EPIII).  In a brief statement, the Association stated that it is “continuing internal discussions with its members on the first draft of EP III and as a result the overall timeline for the EP III Update process has been extended again” The release of EPIII is now foreseen for October 2012, but “The timeline might be subject to further extension if deemed necessary.”  Read More.

Important Update on the Progress and Timeline of the EP III Update Process

The EP Association is continuing internal discussions with its members on the first draft of EP III and as a result the overall timeline for the EP III Update process has been extended again.

Please see below a summary of the new timeline*:

  • EP Association consultation period and initial drafting of the EP III (September 2011 - May 2012).
  • Formal  60 day (minimum) Stakeholder Consultation and Public Comment Process (May - July 2012).
  • Finalisation and launch of the EP III framework (July - October 2012).

*The timeline might be subject to further extension if deemed necessary.

The EP Association would like re-emphasise that it is committed to carrying out a robust and consultative process therefore appreciates the patience of stakeholders and look forwards sharing the first draft of EP III with stakeholders in the coming months.

The EP Association will aim to be open and transparent during the EP III Update process, and we welcome feedback and comments from any interested party on both process and substance. If you have not already joined the EP Association mailing list you can register your interest here.