- 32 institutions have signed the Dubai Declaration so far
- MOCCAE presented each signatory with a memorial shield of the Dubai Declaration as a recognition of their efforts and commitments
Dubai, UAE: 12 September, 2017: The Ministry of Climate Change & Environment (MOCCAE) organized the 1st plenary meeting for the Dubai Declaration signatories, hosted by First Abu Dhabi Bank at JW Marques Hotel Dubai and in partnership with the Central Bank of the UAE. The event was attended by His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and representatives of UAE leading banks and financial firms who have signed the Dubai Declaration.
The Dubai Declaration on Sustainable Finance was launched during the UNEP FI 14th Global Roundtable, held in Dubai in October 2016, to showcase the UAE's sustainability actions and commitment to support the country's transformation towards a green economy. As of August 2017, 32 institutions have signed the Dubai Declaration.
His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi presented each signatory with a memorial shield of the Dubai Declaration as a recognition of their efforts and commitments.
In her opening remarks, Engineer Aisha Mohamed Abdullah Al Abdooli, MOCCAE's Director of Green Development Department, gave a warm welcome to the attending Dubai Declaration signatories and praised their efforts and commitments to facilitate funding for sustainable development projects in the UAE. She also extended thanks and appreciation to First Abu Dhabi Bank for hosting the event, and then presented an update on the progress of the Dubai Declaration and what has been achieved so far with regards to the related UAE Steering Group on Sustainable Finance.
Al Abdooli said: “Transformation towards a green economy requires the UAE to raise the massive scale of investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, as well as building green cities and infrastructure. Attracting private-sector finance is ultimately a decisive factor for the success of the UAE's sustainable development. Therefore, promoting sustainable finance practice among UAE financial institutions is placed as a key component of the UAE Green Agenda 2030.”
“We would like to highlight that this is your initiative and we hope to eventually see this group grow into a sector-driven, self-sustaining initiative through your active participation”, she added.
The event witnessed presentations of a few signatories on their latest initiatives on sustainable finance. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), one of the original signatories to the Dubai Declaration in 2016, gave an update on its first ever Green Bond from the Middle East. Emirates NBD and HSBC Middle East also updated the attendees on the green auto loans program which aims to encourage customers to buy hybrid or electric vehicles.
Karim Karoui, Group Head of Subsidiaries, Strategy and Transformation, said: “As the UAE's largest bank and one of the world's largest financial institutions, we understand the important role that FAB – and the financial sector as a whole – has to play in supporting the UAE's green economy transformation. We are honored to be hosting this event and supporting the Dubai Declaration, which will promote and raise awareness of sustainable finance practices in line with the UAE Green Agenda 2015 -2030, and accelerate sustainable development across the country. As financial institutions throughout the UAE come together to achieve this common purpose, today's meeting marks an important milestone for our industry, nation and the wider region, and we are proud to be part of this initiative.”
In the second half of the meeting, the attendees discussed a proposal for moving the UAE Steering Group on Sustainable Finance forward to fulfill the commitments and support the contribution to the UAE Vision 2021, the Green Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The proposal set three work streams which will help the Dubai Declaration signatories to learn and share best practices on particular areas of sustainable finance. Al Abdooli encouraged the signatories to take part in one or more of those work streams, and even lead one of them.
In the Dubai Declaration, signatories confirmed their support for the UAE Vision 2021 and endorsed the government's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement while recognizing the role that the finance sector can play in enabling a climate-resilient and inclusive green economy and sustainable development. The signatories also declared their aims to expand and accelerate sustainable finance practices and contribute to the process of green economy transformation.