DIFC announces partnership with Global Ethical Finance Initiative

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Officials during the signing ceremony.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (Measa) region, on Monday 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.

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