The International Renewable Energy Agency yesterday signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s financial free zone to promote the growth of sustainable finance in the UAE and the wider Gulf region.
The collaboration between Irena, which has its headquarters in Masdar City, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market is expected to promote investment in renewable energy, support the development of a sustainable finance ecosystem and boost ongoing sustainability initiatives, the parties said.
The ADGM and Irena have a “shared commitment to promoting sustainable practices across all sectors”, Dhaher AlMheiri, chief executive of the freezone, said. He said the ADGM is “continuously looking to work with its strategic partners, locally and internationally”, to boost sustainability initiatives.
“Through [several] sustainability initiatives, programmes and agreements, we hope to continuously collaborate with leading entities, such as Irena, to secure the longevity and wellbeing of the financial community,” he said.
The global green bond market is expected to grow by 36 per cent this year to $350 billion (Dh1.28 trillion), up from $257.5bn last year, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative.
The UAE intends to derive 44 per cent of its power requirements from clean energy by 2050. Of the remainder, 38 per cent will come from gas, 12 per cent from clean coal and 6 per cent from nuclear.
More investment in the fields of renewable energy and energy transformation “is essential to building a more resilient energy system”, Irena director general Francesco La Camera said.
“The UAE has demonstrated its strong commitment to this future and through this co-operation, we aim to accelerate low-carbon investment flows, building more stable, equitable and climate-safe societies,” he said.
The country unveiled a new set of Sustainable Finance Principles as part of the second Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum in February this year and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange reached a deal with index provider FTSE Russell to develop a sustainable finance index for investors.
In January, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy started a green bonds accelerator programme with a view to establishing the emirate as a regional hub for the issuance of green bonds and sukuk to finance sustainable projects across the region.