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DIFC strategic initiatives drive Dubai’s emergence as a global hub for sustainable finance

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the leading global financial center in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, today announced the launch of its Sustainable Finance Catalyst to mark Dubai Finance Day. COP28.

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

Located in the new DIFC Innovation One, Sustainable Finance Catalyst will become Dubai’s first centralized intelligence unit focused on sustainable finance, investing in awareness, capacity and innovation to accelerate market from Dubai and provide faster and more cost-effective ways for companies access knowledge and data on sustainability and sustainable financing, and develop key capabilities in this area.

His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFCcommented:

“Aligning with DIFC’s Strategy 2030 to drive the future of finance, the goal of the first Sustainable Finance Catalyst in the MEASA region is to help increase sustainable financial flows from Dubai to $100 billion by 2030, unlocking even more access for the Global South.

To this end, DIFC has established a portfolio of training programs and events in collaboration with the DIFC Academy and the DIFC Innovation Center, together with leading experts, strategic partners and government entities. The initiatives will further position DIFC and Dubai as a global hub for sustainable finance, enable continuous upskilling of top talent and amplify action on climate finance.”

Arif Amiri, CEO, DIFC Authority, saying:

“During DIFC’s Road to COP28 programme, we have worked with the global industry to ensure we continue to make a tangible difference through cross-border collaboration and setting a strong example of global best practice. The Sustainable Finance Catalyst is designed to help scale our efforts with the first AI-powered sustainability knowledge center and a network of strategic partners that will train 1 million sustainability leaders and ultimately grow the ecosystem of sustainability-driven startups at the Center 50 times their current size by 2030.”

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

20% of Dubai Future District Fund goes towards sustainable innovation

As part of the DIFC’s drive to encourage access to more sustainable financial financing, the Center also announced that the Dubai Future District Fund will allocate up to 20% of the AED billion fund to drive growth and support businesses emerging technologies and innovation driven by sustainability. and extensions, in collaboration with Dubai Future Foundation, in their capacity as founding partners of the fund.

The new fund is aligned with the core pillars of the DIFC 2030 Strategy focused on shaping the future of finance and innovation, designed to drive access to finance for leading technology and innovation companies with a strong focus on innovative solutions aimed to address pressing global challenges.

DIFC and Dubai Financial Market lead innovation for carbon market

Comprehensive emissions reductions are required across all sectors to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, it is necessary to innovate in financing instruments.

Recognizing that demand for financing carbon projects within a progressive, transparent and robust regulatory environment will unlock future opportunities and help companies manage carbon reductions, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) in November introduced a pilot program to carbon credit trading, which will be introduced in more detail during COP28.

DIFC’s participation in the DFM carbon market pilot exemplifies its commitment to enabling sustainable finance, including the use of carbon markets to reduce emissions and help finance the transition to low-carbon economies. By actively engaging, DIFC underlines the critical role the financial sector plays in addressing climate change.

DIFC awards Innovation Licenses to the winners of Prototypes for Humanity 2023

As a founding partner and inaugural host of Prototypes for Humanity, DIFC is proud of its continued commitment to the global initiative. During his welcome speech at the opening ceremony of Prototypes for Humanity, held at the Museum of the Future earlier this week, Arif Amiri, Chairman of the Board of Art Dubai and CEO of the DIFC Authority, highlighted the importance of supporting academic excellence that transcends borders and faces global challenges head-on.

At the Prototypes for Humanity awards ceremony held at COP28, DIFC announced its continued commitment to supporting the next wave of sustainable innovation entrepreneurs by providing projects selected for Prototypes for Humanity 2023 with complementary Innovation Licenses. The license allows entrepreneurs to establish themselves in DIFC and provides access to co-working spaces, mentoring and training, PE and VC networks and business start-up studios.

At the DIFC Innovation Hub, home to MEASA’s largest group of FinTech and Innovation companies, Prototypes for Humanity participants were welcomed by Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of DIFC Innovation Hub, to discuss the future of innovation, opportunities for growth in Dubai and how the eco- system can serve as a test bed for new technologies and help unlock access to finance.
First and largest COP-related program for the financial industry

DIFC was the first government entity to launch a program to draw attention to climate issues ahead of COP28. The Center launched its Road to COP28 in October 2022 in partnership with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative focused on mobilizing the financial industry to act towards common goals: Net Zero Financing; Unlock Islamic Finance; Nature and Biodiversity Financing; Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In addition to the Road to COP28 program of summits, roundtables, MoU agreements and training sessions, DIFC has mobilized climate action through a series of landmark environmental and sustainable finance initiatives.

Mobilize global conversations on climate finance and future-focused agreements

During COP28, DIFC is organizing the largest and most extensive series of events for the financial industry on climate issues, part of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative and the DIFC Path to COP28 programme.

These events, which will take place from December 3 to 8, include a series of lectures related to the perspectives on profit and purpose of the Scottish Enlightenment economist Adam Smith and the famous Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun; the emblematic Climate Finance Summit; Summit on Unlocking Islamic Finance; and a series of high-impact sessions at the Sustainable Development Goals Hive.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding recently signed by the DIFC Academy and the UK-based Chartered Banker Institute, the world’s oldest banking institute, the two entities have partnered to award two certifications in ‘Green and Sustainable Finance’ and ‘Climate risk’. Both initiatives will be implemented by the DIFC Academy under the Sustainable Finance Catalyst.

Through the Dubai Sustainable Finance Task Force, chaired by the DIFC, three action-focused reports were published to help UAE businesses build resilience to the impact of climate change and move the economy to Net Zero.

Earlier this year, DIFC became the first financial center in the region to announce its green finance framework, with a positive Second Opinion review from S&P Global Ratings.

News source: Dubai Press Office

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