Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Gray Maguire’s regular opinion pieces provide a useful way to keep up with developments in green finance in SA. I would suggest, however, that he indulged in hyperbole in his most recent article. (“Great strides made preparing the ground for green investments”, October 20).

The taxonomic work to which he refers has been carried out by the National Business Initiative and the Carbon Trust, and is doubtless of the high standard we are accustomed to from these outstanding organisations. But important as such work is, this is not what “create[s] the fertile ground for green investments to take root”.

Investments, green or brown, are rooted in economies. This newspaper has reported for years on the SA economy’s failure to grow — growth, of course, being a useful, if not the most important, indicator of fertility. In the absence of wide-ranging economic reform, of which there is little evidence to date, this soil will remain largely infertile.

We expect too much of, and do a disservice to, the important agricultural implements associated with green financing if we think it is they that will transform this situation. They can, as useful tools, be employed to cultivate the soil, thereby discouraging weeds and mitigating harm — but creating fertile ground is, sadly, beyond them.

Gary Cundill

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