Skopje, 28. February 2023
The National Bank is in the final stage of drafting the first national strategy for fostering green finance. The strategy provides for a number of activities for dealing with the climate change effects that adversely affect economic growth of countries and inflationary pressures. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has expressed readiness, together with the consulting team specialized in greening the financial systems, to support the implementation of strategy. This was highlighted at the meeting between the National Bank Governor, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, and the Vice President of the EIB, Lilyana Pavlova, on the sidelines of the EIB Group Forum 2023 - Adapting to a Changing World.
Climate change is a source of risks to financial stability, which is why a growing number of central banks in the world include green finance in their goals. The National Bank, as a socially responsible institution, strives to be an example and contributes to the green and sustainable economy, aimed to improve the quality of life of citizens and their standard of living. In this light, the bank has already taken a series of activities to encourage green finance projects by the banking sector, such as the drafting of the green finance strategy.
The green finance strategy will be focused on several segments, such as financial stability, banking regulation and supervision, monetary policy, research, financial markets and building up the National Bank capacities. Some of the more relevant activities defined in the strategy include preparation of guidelines for banks’ green finance operations, as well as regular stress tests to assess the banking system resilience to climate change.
The National Bank has embarked on building green securities portfolio in the foreign reserves. Since last year, the central bank has been encouraging green lending through the reserve requirement.
A progress has been noted in green financing in the country, but there is still room for improvement. The National Bank started collecting regular data on banks' green loans - according to the latest available data, there is an almost 80% increase in green lending compared to the end of 2019 (start of data collection period). During this period, green loans or financing for renewable energy, energy efficiency loans, financing for sustainable agriculture and loans for technological innovation, grew by 0.9 percentage points to total loans and now equal 3.1%.
The cooperation of our country with the European Investment Bank dates back to 1977. Up to now, EIB is supporting development projects in public and private sectors, which aim to improve the quality of life in the country. Most of the projects refer to investment in transport network, energy, water supply and wastewater treatment, as well as support for small and medium-sized enterprises in the form of credit lines placed through commercial banks.