In a bid to support positive economic, social and environmental impacts and advocate sustainable finance and investments for the long-term growth of the UAE economy, a panel of leading UAE authorities and financial exchanges has established a first-of-its-kind Working Group on Sustainable Finance. The Working Group will play a key role in supporting the UAE government’s sustainable growth agenda through encouraging closer collaboration and joint initiatives among its members.
Reinforcing the UAE’s commitment to pursuing a sustainable growth pathway set out in initiatives such as the UAE 2021 Vision, the UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030 and the 2016 Dubai Declaration, the move follows the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration initiated during the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF) in January 2019.
The pioneering Working Group, comprising UAE government agencies, financial regulatory authorities and stock exchanges (Authorities), is seeking to establish a framework on sustainable finance that facilitates, among others, new and ongoing sustainable investments in the UAE.
The list of members includes the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Central Bank of the UAE, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the UAE Insurance Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of Dubai International Financial Centre, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, as well as the UAE Stock Exchanges including Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Nasdaq Dubai. The Working Group is also set to collaborate with the UAE National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure alignment with the UAE’s priorities in the 2030 Agenda, and to stay updated on the latest developments related to the SDGs.
To further advance the UAE’s economic diversification agenda and encourage new investment opportunities that enhance the quality and depth of sustainable investments in the country, the Working Group is developing a set of guiding principles on sustainable finance. These principles will represent an important milestone in the UAE’s intent to support a thriving and sustainable finance industry.
In line with international best practices, the guiding principles aim to build on existing sustainable finance initiatives launched across the UAE. These include UAE banks’ green finance initiatives supported by the Central Bank, the SCA’s Sustainable Capital Markets Masterplan, Principles for Sustainable Insurance, the DFSA Green Bond Best Practice Guidelines, the recently issued ADX ESG Disclosure Guidelines and the DFM Sustainability Strategy 2025, as well as Nasdaq Dubai’s green sukuk initiative.
The Working Group is set to launch these guiding principles on sustainable finance in the UAE capital at the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum in January 2020.