DIFC Launches Programme with Global Ethical Finance Initiative Aligning with the UAE’s COP28 Agenda

DIFC Launches Programme with Global Ethical Finance Initiative Aligning with the UAE’s COP28 Agenda

  • Programme aligns with the UAE’s COP28 agenda
  • DIFC is host financial centre for 12-month path to COP28 programme, working with Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI)
  • DIFC and GEFI invite members of global finance community to join the programme

Dubai, UAE; 24 October 2022: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, today announced a year-long partnership with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) taking place in Expo City Dubai. COP28 will be held in November 2023 and will see world leaders from the public and private sectors congregate to make progress on climate related matters.

With the UAE hosting COP28, and DIFC being a significant contributor to the sustainable economic growth of the Emirate, the Centre is leading by example and announcing their path to COP28 partnership just over 12 months before the event takes place.

DIFC and GEFI will drive change across the world’s financial industry relating to delivering Net Zero; unlocking Islamic Finance; financing nature and biodiversity; and financing the sustainable development goals. As host financial centre for GEFI’s Path to COP28 programme, DIFC will support a series of report launches, roundtables and community engagements during the next 12 months.

The partnership was launched at DIFC with a keynote presentation by Dame Susan Rice, one of the most influential women in banking, who Chairs the GEFI Global Steering Group. Dame Susan, the first woman to head a UK clearing bank, also Chairs the Financial Services Culture Board in the UK and enjoyed a seven-year term as a non-executive Director of the Bank of England.

Attendees also heard from the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) Secretary General, Dr. Abdelilah Belatik, and Fajr Capital’s CEO, Iqbal Khan.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority said: “DIFC and GEFI are delighted that the financial services sector is the first industry to launch a programme that aligns with the UAE government’s COP28 agenda. DIFC is perfectly placed to be host financial centre for the Path to COP28 programme given the progress we have already made and will continue to make on climate related matters with our clients. We are looking forward to working with the GEFI and senior members of the local, regional, and international finance community to embrace this initiative and truly make a difference.”

Omar Shaikh, Co-Founder and Managing Director of GEFI said: “Our Path to COP28 campaign seeks to encourage and support financial institutions in transitioning from commitment to actual implementation, measurement and reporting. The maturity and foresight of the UAE government and DIFC as a world-class financial centre is critical to encouraging the regional financial sector to ramp up its environmental awareness and commitment towards achieving the COP targets.”

The partnership aligns with DIFC’s Strategy 2030 and reflects its progress on driving Dubai’s reputation as the region’s leading sustainable financial hub. This is being achieved through its chairmanship of the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group (DSFWG), which was established in 2019.

The Path to COP28 initiative also complements the recent launch of the DSFWG self-assessment tool for measuring the maturity of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies and practices in companies.

GEFI’s previous Path to COP26 campaign was supported by the City of London Corporation and brought together several signatories, including 20 financial institutions representing £2 trillion in assets, to drive finance for positive change at the Glasgow COP.

Members of the finance community can find out more about the Path to COP28 – and register their interest to be involved – on difc.ae.

Ends-

About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and an estimated GDP of USD 8 trillion.  

With a close to 20-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai. 

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of almost 30,000 professionals working across over 4,000 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.  

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. Today, it is the global future of finance and innovation hub offering one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.  

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations. 

For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @DIFC. 

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