A conference titled ‘Sustainable Financing: UK-India Partnership’ was held in Guildhall on 7 November 2019 by the High Commission of India, City of London and Indian Professional Forum. The first session began with remarks by the High Commissioner of India, Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam. There were other dignitaries like Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for Commonwealth Affairs, FCO, Rt Hon Peter Estlin, Lord Mayor of City of London & Sir Roger Gifford, Green Finance Institute delivered remarks as well to set the agenda for the day long conference.
During the day, there were seven other sessions which covered topics like ‘Green Finance Keynote Address’, ‘Sustainable Investing Standards & Practices: Engaging Global Stakeholders’, ‘Sustainable Investing: India’s Emerging ESG Asset Class’, ‘Partnering to Achieve Sustainable Goals’, ‘Greening India’s Growth Story’, ‘India’s Clean Ganges Sustainable Infrastructure Programme’, Future of Sustainability: Technology & Financial Innovation Driving Strategies’.
Speakers from across the range of companies, organisations and government spoke on various topics, mainly focusing on the topical agenda given to them. Questions from attendees further explored the topics. The aim of organising this conference was to promote sustainable finance between India and the UK. The potential areas in India for Environmental, Sustainable and Green (ESG) Finances were discussed in various panellists. All over the world, impact finance is taking up and focus of the financing institutes are to take into consideration environmental impact of any financial assistance.
The session on Clean Ganga spoke on the importance and program of cleaning Ganges. The river is considered holy and is home to over 600 million people in India. It contributes over USD 700 billion in GDP of India. But today, the basin is facing ecological and water resource challenges which are aimed to be addressed at the expense of USD 100 billion sustainability programme. Namami Gange is a national mission to clean the Ganges through a mission mode effort. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was established in October 2016 to achieve this aim. It is seeking technology and finances towards the massive task of cleaning the 2500 km long river.
The conference subject is in line with the celebration of the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who epitomised sustainable living and development through his life and message. UK-India Partnership through such a conference on the subject important to both economies will help to create stronger ties between the two countries. It will create a Living Bridge for the two nations.