Banks hold financial power to contribute to the solutions to social and environmental issues like some superheroes. How do they do this?
In superhero movies, humans usually need to confront extraterrestrial villains who are so powerful that one flick of their fingers can sweep away half of the population. In real life, ‘villains’ that we must fight off are just as pressing – such as climate change, war, disease, inequality, and fraud. These problems also require strong financial resources to solve. We need large amounts of capital to invest in projects that support transitioning from fossil fuels to other sources that release lesser greenhouse gases, projects on promoting education, researching new technology to save fuel, for example.
One of the biggest financial institutions that dictate the direction of cash flows are banks. Banks can invest in companies with effective operations and notable efforts in tackling the aforementioned issues, or at least companies that are not worsening the situation. Unfortunately, compared to the world and other neighboring nations, the implementation of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) standards in Vietnam’s big banks is still comparatively limited. Environmental and social issues are not individual’s responsibility, but that of the entire human race. Just like the ending scenes of End Game, to win against villains, the power of one individual, no matter how great, will not be enough. We need Unity and collective endeavor from many sides. It’s time for banks to join the war.
Fair Finance Vietnam (FFV) is the creation of the collective efforts of several civil society organizations, including the Center for Water Conservation and Development (WARECOD), the Center for Education and Empowerment of Women (CEPEW), and Oxfam in Vietnam. They are currently active in the field of environmental protection and community development for sustainable development.
For more information, please contact:
Hoang Thu Trang, Programme Officer, Oxfam in Vietnam