Over 1000 Industry Leaders to Convene in Dubai at upcoming Future Sustainability Forum Hosted by DIFC
Mahmoud Nsouli

Over 1000 Industry Leaders to Convene in Dubai at upcoming Future Sustainability Forum Hosted by DIFC

The Forum brings together global decision and change makers in to explore ways to lead action on climate change

Dubai is set to take centre stage on action for climate change as Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, is gearing up to host the first ever Future Sustainability Forum (“The Forum”) to be held 4-5 October 2023, at the Ritz-Carlton DIFC.

Set to attract over 1000 industry leaders, including more than 50 speakers, representing 30 countries, the 2-day Forum will explore how the financial sector can lead the charge in addressing climate change, promoting a just transition to a sustainable economy, and aligning efforts with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Globally, an estimated USD 3.3 - 4.5tn is required annually to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This has called forth the sustainable debt market, which has been growing at pace driven by strong demand from investors and rising expectations for governments and organisations to deliver on their sustainability commitments.

Mohammad AlBlooshi, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Innovation Hub, said: "We are thrilled to welcome over 1000 global leaders to the inaugural Dubai and the Future Sustainability Forum.

"The Forum will focus on mobilising sustainable finance and innovation by connecting industry leaders, investors, tech disruptors, and policy makers, and help channel investment flows between the global north and global south, to accelerate climate action.

"Our mission is clear: We want to pioneer change, foster collaboration, and ensure that the finance sector stands at the forefront of sustainable practices.”

The Forum’s Agenda supports COP28’s 4-pillar plan on fast-tracking the transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on adaptation to protect lives and livelihoods, and making COP28 fully inclusive.

In addition to keynote addresses by H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC; and Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority; the line-up of speakers will feature eminent leaders including a fireside chat with H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates and Honourable Quincia Gumbs-Marie, Minister of Sustainability, Innovation and the Environment, Government of Anguilla.

Dr. Ayesha Alnuaimi, Director of DEWA’s Solar Innovation Centre and Amal Larhlid, Partner Sustainability at PwC; Florence Bulte, Chief Sustainability Officer of Chalhoub Group and Rajesh Garg, Group CFO and Chief Sustainability Officer of Landmark Group; will speak on behalf of the corporate sector.

The Forum is a key platform to discuss the topic of environmental conservation and private investment, which will be delivered by a distinguished speaker line-up including Ghiwa Nakat, Executive of Greenpeace MENA; Laila Abdullatif, Director General of Emirates Nature – WWF; Dr Adib El Moubadder, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates District Cooling; Satya Tripathi, Secretary-General of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet; Matt Brown, Chief Sustainability Officer, Expo City Dubai; Thomas Bosse, Head of Carbon Unit, Neom and Shivam Kishore, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Environment Programme.

Representatives of the financial sector include, Nader Albastaki, Managing Director of Dubai Future District Fund; Suhail Bin Tarraf, Group Chief Operating Officer of First Abu Dhabi Bank; Vijas Bains, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Emirates NBD; Simon Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, The Chartered Banker Institute; Shargiil Bashir, Chief Sustainability Officer, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Nameer Khan, Founder of FILS and Chairman of the MENA Fintech Association.

The Future Sustainability Forum will also put the spotlight on the UAE's sustainable practices particularly within the financial ecosystem, inviting global experts to connect, collaborate and share insight to accelerate the global transition towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Panel discussions and sessions include: ‘Supporting corporates in embedding ESG within their organisations’; ‘Empowering companies to design their path to Net-Zero’; ‘Unlocking the potential of ESG-driven innovation’; ‘Fostering sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems’; and ‘Transforming capital to drive the low carbon transition’.

Central to DIFC’s programme in the run up to COP28, the inaugural Future Sustainability Forum, further demonstrates the Centre’s commitment to play a leading role in advancing COP28 priorities, aligned with DIFC’s chairmanship of the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group (DSFWG), established in 2019.

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