Scaling up climate finance contributions to support adaptation to climate change was discussed at a special event hosted by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
According to the IMF, between 2009 and 2019, organizations provided around $70 billion in climate finance to the region.
The event, held as part of the UAE’s National Dialogue for Climate Ambition (NDCA), showcased the gaps in climate finance for the decarbonization of the economy and encouraged all stakeholders – especially those in the private sector financial entities- to boost green finance to support the country’s vision of building a sustainable economy.
The session was attended by HE Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and gathered 100 participants from the banking, insurance, investment, financial services, and consulting sectors and various ministries.
As the UAE gears up to host the UN summit COP28, Al Mheiri emphasized the importance of collaboration for the country’s ambition to raise collective action towards mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and climate finance.
“The participation of all sectors is essential in tackling the challenge, with perceived risks in green investments, such as a relatively long payback period, hindering green finance investments. These perceptions must be addressed, with the UAE demonstrating to the world that investing in green projects is an investment in our future,” she said. “Together, we must create new financial products and services that promote sustainability and resilience and work towards a strategy that aligns with the interests of all stakeholders.”
For example, Al Mheiri pointed towards UAE’s clean energy projects, such as Masdar City and Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Park, to indicate the value of green finance in driving sustainable growth. She also pointed out the significant green finance behind Etihad Rail, the UAE’s megaproject connecting the country’s seven Emirates to the five neighboring GCC states, which will reduce the UAE’s emissions.
With environmental, social, and governance rising as a framework for responsible business, Al Mheiri says entities, including the finance industry, can “rally their efforts to raise ambitions for climate finance.” She added, “Investors and financial markets increasingly demand an effective ESG plan and a path to net-zero carbon emissions as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities.”
The NDCA initiative aims to promote climate action through stronger collaboration with the private sector. It offers a series of industry-specific assemblies in various sectors to raise climate ambitions in the nation’s journey to net zero emissions.
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