COP28: A call to action for the global finance community



Dear members of the global finance community,

Essa Kazim

Published: 04/12/2023

5 min read

Over the last few days, we have seen world leaders from the public and private sector arrive in Dubai for the 28th Conference of Parties. Collectively they will report progress and agree next steps for managing climate change.

Today is Finance Day and our industry will be under the spotlight at the conference. Our Path to COP28 hosted programme started just over a year ago and has been co-delivered in partnership with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative. It was the first and largest programme of its kind and has focused on accelerating action in the industry. 

DIFC firmly believes that the industry must provide more finance to tackle climate issues and sustainability more broadly. Taking action to support the climate emergency mitigates risks for organisations and provides opportunities.

Essa Kazim

In our view, these can be summarised as: 

Mitigating risks: Embracing sustainable practices, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adopting renewable energy sources, can help mitigate the impacts of climate change and minimise exposure to 
environmental risks.

Capturing opportunities: The rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment criteria means that 
a sustainable business is inherently more attractive to investors. Investment in ESG assets may reach USD 53 trillion by 2025, representing over a third of global assets.

Future proof the organisation: By proactively incorporating sustainable practices into our business operations, we can stay ahead of practices and regulatory changes.

Revenue growth: implementing sustainable practices that reduce resource consumption and optimise operational  efficiencies, today's change agents become tomorrow’s winners as they improve their bottom line.

Enhanced reputation: In the global business environment, a strong brand reputation is crucial for success. Sustainability acts as a powerful tool for improving brand image and building trust with our stakeholders.

At DIFC, we will continue to lead by example. Earlier this year, we became the first financial centre in the region to announce its green finance framework. Other initiatives underway include our decarbonisation strategy, approach to sustainable procurement, and baselining ESG measures for disclosure and governance.

We would also like to introduce our ground-breaking COP28 legacy programme for the industry which will continue to demonstrate DIFC’s commitment to remain the region’s champion for climate change, sustainability and transition finance. 

Our Sustainable Finance Catalyst programme will create the first global hub for sustainable finance knowledge in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, triple sustainable and Islamic financing raised from Dubai to USD100bn and upskill 1mn sustainability professionals from Dubai. By 2030, this ambition will allow DIFC and its clients to collectively increase its GDP contribution to the economy. 

We have one planet and it is our duty to protect it for generations to come. Reflecting the goals of COP28, we must unite, act and deliver.

Essa Kazim
Dubai International Financial Centre