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Banks in GCC have a big role to mitigate climate risk, say experts

At ADSFF, experts discuss how financial institutions can help energy transition and how to scale renewables.

Banks in GCC have a big role to mitigate climate risk, say experts
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Banks in the GCC region must step forward to demonstrate their commitment to climate problems by supporting the green energy renaissance and enabling the market to play an active role in mitigating the effects of climate change, said banking experts at Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF).

Financial institutions must ensure they have the right assessments of climate risk and understand what clients tell them about their energy transition needs, said Zoe Knight, Group Head, HSBC Centre for Sustainable Finance and Climate Change, MENAT, HSBC. 

Knight was on ADSFF’s panel session that tackled the challenges facing the institutions financing the energy transition market, which is part of global climate change mitigation efforts in reducing carbon emissions.  

“We have to share the ideas from here with the US, Europe, and Asia. If we don’t do that with finance we have no chance of succeeding. We have to think about how we demonstrate that we are taking this seriously. By having the right climate risk assessment, capturing the mitigation aspects,” said Knight. 

“We need to be serious about how to help the energy transition and how to scale renewables. We (the region) are supporting the rest of the world,” she added.

“While the energy transition has its challenges, there is a significant opportunity for development and scaling up voluntary carbon markets”, Lina Osman, head of sustainable finance, West, Standard Chartered, said. 

“Talent within sustainability is something we really require, not only this year but in the coming decades,” Shargil Bashir, chief sustainability officer at FAB said. 

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