The first summit dedicated to advancing the COP28 climate action agenda in the global finance industry has been hosted by the Dubai International Financial Centre and was attended by more than 500 people who are seeking to spur proactive action in the industry to lead the charge on climate change and accelerate the green transition.
The sector’s COP28 priorities and how to implement best practice decision-making across their organizations formed the subject of discussion by a panel of speakers from leading investment firms, banks and financial service providers, at the event that was presided over by Dame Heather McGregor, who wrote columns in the Financial Times under the name Mrs Moneypenny from 1999-2016.
Findings of the first Global Islamic Finance Retail Banking Survey and their implications for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were released at the event.
According to the survey, 90 percent of Islamic banking customers from a variety of markets believe it is critical that their bank offers products that are aligned with the SDGs, about 86 percent said it is critical that the financial products they buy align with their personal values and ethics, and 87 percent are willing to pay more for financial products that support the SDGs.
“DIFC and our clients are leading the approach on how the finance industry can play a significant role in tackling the climate crisis,” Christian Kunz, head of group strategy and innovation at DIFC, said.
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“In alignment with the UAE’s priorities for hosting COP28, the first in a series of summits held at DIFC provided the ideal platform for influential contributors from the sector to come together and drive ideas forward to accelerate climate action.
“As a significant contributor to the sustainable economic growth of the Emirates, the DIFC is deeply committed to actively contributing to the UAE’s role as host of the next UN climate talks — the second largest in the history of climate summits,” he added.
Omar Shaikh, managing director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, who was also at the event said financial institutions need a greater sustainability focus for it to overcome the very real threat of climate change, particularly for developing nations as the pressure on the industry will only continue to increase ahead of COP28 where financial institutions will be challenged to play a key role in climate action.
“This summit helped UAE-based financial institutions to understand what COP28 means to them and provided practical direction on how to successfully shift to a low-carbon world.
“Together with the DIFC, we look forward to encouraging and supporting the regional industry to both set the tone of ambition and practically accelerate the transition toward delivering net zero,” he said.
Story was adapted from Arab News.