DIFC drives Dubai’s emergence as global hub for sustainable finance - GulfToday

DIFC drives Dubai’s emergence as global hub for sustainable finance

The DIFC programme will be a crucial initiative in creating awareness about climate change in the UAE.

DIFC’s Sustainable Finance Catalyst set to grow sustainable finance raised from Dubai to $100 billion by 2030.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, on Sunday announced the launch of its Sustainable Finance Catalyst to mark COP28’s Finance Day.  

DIFC’s Sustainable Finance Catalyst, which will be part of COP28’s legacy, aims to unlock opportunities and create impact beyond the conference. Building on DIFC’s position as the first global sustainable finance hub in MEASA, DIFC’s Sustainable Finance Catalyst will help scale sustainable finance flows from Dubai to $100 billion by 2030. Enabled by the first AI-driven sustainability knowledge hub, the Catalyst will activate a network of strategic partners to train and grow its 1 million sustainability leaders; and grow its sustainability-driven start-up ecosystem 50 times its current size by 2030.

Hosted in the new DIFC Innovation One, the Sustainable Finance Catalyst is set to become Dubai’s first centralised intelligence unit focused on sustainable finance, investing in awareness, capability and innovation to accelerate the market from Dubai and provide faster and cost-effective ways for companies to access sustainability knowledge and data and sustainable financing, and develop key capabilities in this domain.

Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC, commented: “Aligning with DIFC’s 2030 Strategy to drive the future of finance, the aim of the first Sustainable Finance Catalyst in the MEASA region is to help grow sustainable finance flows from Dubai to $100 billion by 2030, further unlocking access for the Global South.

To do so, DIFC has established a portfolio of training programmes and events in collaboration with the DIFC Academy and DIFC Innovation Hub, alongside leading experts, strategic partners, and government entities. The initiatives will further position DIFC and Dubai as a global hub for sustainable finance, enable continued upskilling of top talent, and amplify action on climate finance.” 

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, said: “During DIFC’s Path to COP28 programme we have worked with the global industry to ensure we continue to make a tangible difference through cross-border collaboration and by setting a strong example of global best practice. The Sustainable Finance Catalyst is designed to help scale our efforts enabled by the first AI-driven sustainability knowledge hub, and a network of strategic partners that will train 1 million sustainability leaders and ultimately grow the Centre’s sustainability-driven start-up ecosystem 50 times its current size by 2030.”

Beyond the Sustainable Finance Catalyst, DIFC continues to be the region’s champion for addressing climate change and ESGs more broadly, spearheading a number of initiatives:

Sustainable innovation: As part of DIFC’s drive to nurture access to more sustainable finance funding, the Centre also announced that the Dubai Future District Fund will allocate up to 20% of the Dhs1 billion fund to drive growth and back sustainability-driven tech and innovation start-ups and scale-ups, in collaboration with Dubai Future Foundation, in their capacity as founding partners of the fund.

The new fund is aligned with DIFC Strategy 2030 core pillars centred around shaping the future of finance and innovation, designed to boost access to finance for leading tech and innovation firms with a strong focus on innovative solutions set to tackle pressing global challenges.

Innovation for carbon market: Holistic emissions reductions across all sectors are required to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. Innovation in financing instruments is needed to help achieve that.

Recognising that the demand for carbon project financing within a progressive, transparent and robust regulatory environment will unlock future opportunities and help firms manage carbon reductions, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), introduced a pilot programme for trading carbon credits in November, to be introduced in more detail during COP28.

DIFC’s engagement in the DFM Carbon Market Pilot exemplifies its commitment to enable sustainable finance, including the use of carbon markets to reduce emissions and help finance the transition to low-carbon economies. By actively participating, DIFC underscores the pivotal role the financial sector plays in addressing climate change.

As founding partner and inaugural host of Prototypes for Humanity, DIFC is proud of its ongoing commitment to the global initiative. During his welcome address at the Prototypes for Humanity opening ceremony, held at the Museum of the Future earlier in the week, Arif Amiri, Chairman of the Board of Art Dubai and Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, stressed the importance of supporting academic excellence that transcends boundaries and confronts global challenges head-on.

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