DUBAI: According to Emirates News Agency, the Dubai International Financial Centre hosted the first summit aimed at pushing the COP28 climate action agenda in the international banking sector. The first of a series of finance summits, intended to inspire proactive action in the sector to lead the charge on climate change and quicken the green transition, drew more than 500 attendees.
Leading investment firms, banks, and financial service providers spoke on a panel at the event on the sector's COP28 priorities and how to integrate best practices decision-making throughout their enterprises. Dame Heather McGregor, known as Mrs Moneypenny in the Financial Times columns from 1999 to 2016, presided over the meeting.
Simon Thompson, the CEO of the Chartered Banker Institute and author of "Green and Sustainable Finance," spoke about how finance can support the green transition by ensuring that money flows to businesses, investments, projects, and technologies that are aimed at establishing a sustainable, low-carbon world. Prominent leaders from the NatWest Group, Zurich Insurance, and ING also spoke about their dedication to attaining net zero.
The results of the inaugural Global Islamic Finance Retail Banking Survey were presented during the event, along with their implications for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In line with the poll, 90% of consumers of Islamic banks from various markets think it is essential that their bank provide goods that are in line with the SDGs.
Approximately 86 percent of respondents stated that it is essential for the financial products they purchase to be consistent with their personal ethics and values. Also, 87 percent of people are prepared to pay more for financial goods that contribute to the SDGs. Christian Kunz, head of group strategy and innovation at DIFC, said, "DIFC and our clients are leading the way on how the finance industry can play a vital role in tackling the climate problem.
According to Kunz, "the first of a series of summits held at DIFC provided the appropriate platform for influential contributors from the sector to come together and move ideas forward to expedite climate action. This is in line with the UAE's aims for hosting COP28.
"The DIFC is deeply dedicated to actively supporting the UAE's position as host of the forthcoming UN climate talks, the second largest in the history of climate summits, as it contributes significantly to the sustainable economic growth of the Emirates."
If we are to defeat the very real threat of climate change, particularly for developing countries, financial institutions need to focus more on sustainability, according to Omar Shaikh, managing director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative.
"The industry will face increasing pressure leading up to COP28, and financial institutions will face pressure to take a significant role in climate action.
"The UAE government's maturity and foresight, as well as the DIFC's leadership as a top financial hub, demonstrate the country's unwavering dedication to measurable results.
"This conference gave financial institutions based in the UAE practical guidance on how to successfully transition to a low-carbon world and helped them grasp what COP28 means to them.
Together with the DIFC, we anticipate motivating and assisting the local industry to set the bar high and essentially quicken the process of delivering net zero.