Less than 90 Days to COP28: DIFC and GEFI Continue to Drive Action for Climate finance and Announce Additional Event Programme.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, in partnership with UK-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), announces a series of ground-breaking events that will take place in DIFC during the COP28 gathering in December.

With under 90 days until world leaders gather in Dubai, the programme announced today charts the course for the future of climate finance and will be the pinnacle of the 12-month GEFI and DIFC Path to COP28 programme.

Alya Al Zarouni, Chief Operating Officer at the DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC is committed to playing a leading role in advancing the nation’s COP28 priorities which include accelerating net zero goals. We recognise that finance is a powerful tool for positive change, and by unlocking opportunities for the sector to connect, we continue to drive the transformational shift needed to accelerate a sustainable future for all.”

On 4 December, the COP28 Climate Finance Summit themed ‘Financing Survival’, is the first in the series of events taking place in DIFC. It will bring together leading bankers, asset managers, regulators, multilaterals, and other stakeholders to discuss financing survival in the face of escalating climate challenges. Sessions will explore topics on the COP28 agenda including transforming finance at pace and scale, increasing the availability of climate finance, developing innovative financial products, strengthening voluntary carbon markets, and fostering effective financial regulations.

The spotlight will be on the Islamic finance industry on 5 December. The ‘Unlocking Islamic Finance at COP28’ event acknowledges Dubai’s position as a global leader for Green and Sustainable Bonds and Sukuk, with NASDAQ Dubai representing a USD 110bn+ market size.  The programme will also delve into how Shariah-compliant finance represents a largely untapped pool of capital to actively address climate change. 

Omar Shaikh, Managing Director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, said: “The time for gradual changes is over. Climate change has intensified, and we must act decisively to fund our survival. Our COP28 programme with DIFC aims to accelerate the transformation of finance and increase the availability of climate finance, paving the way for innovative financial products and effective financial regulations.”

There will also be a series of enlightening lectures, taking place from 3 to 5 December at the DIFC Academy and Heriot Watt University Dubai. Drawing on the work of Scottish Enlightenment economist, Adam Smith, and Arab social theorist, Ibn Khaldun, these sessions will explore the perspective of the two thinkers on profit and purpose, the rise and fall of empires and unique approaches to solving collective challenges.

In addition, on 6 and 7 December, the DIFC Academy-hosted SDG Hive, will feature a global programme that convenes stakeholders to drive private capital towards achieving the UN SDGs. Finance practitioners will gather to share the technical expertise needed to help finance deliver the goals of COP21’s Paris Agreement, with sessions on topics including financing the SDGs, nature and biodiversity and channelling finance flows from the Global North to the Global South.

The Path to COP28 is the first, and largest, finance-focused campaign for COP28 with GEFI and DIFC hosting a series of summits, round tables, and capacity building sessions throughout the UAE’s Year of Sustainability. The programme also aligns with DIFC’s 2030 Strategy to drive the future of finance. DIFC is driving action with its clients aligned to COP28’s four-pillar plan on fast-tracking the transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on adaptation to protect lives and livelihoods, and making COP28 fully inclusive.

As a curtain raiser to COP28, DIFC’s Future Sustainability Forum will also be held in Dubai on 4 and 5 October. The Forum will put the spotlight on the UAE’s sustainable practices within the financial ecosystem, inviting global experts to connect, collaborate and share insight to accelerate the global transition towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Visit www.futuresustainabilityforum.com to register.


For further information on the ‘Path to COP28’ programme and its events, visit www.difc.ae/about/our-path-cop28.

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