UAE to host top global experts to discuss international finance reform ahead of Cop28

The Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance aims to develop a roadmap of actions

The Abu Dhabi Global Market building on Abu Dhabi's Al Maryah Island. ADGM in July launched a regulatory framework for sustainable finance. Ruel Pableo / The National
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The UAE's Cop28 presidency has announced that it will host an international group of top economists, private sector leaders, and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions this week to boost efforts being made to reform international finance ahead of the major climate change summit.

The Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance will gather at Abu Dhabi Global Market on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will present policy options and recommendations to enable the public and private investment necessary to meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement, state news agency Wam reported.

Cop28 is scheduled to be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, and is expected to be the most inclusive Cop conference yet.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, is the Cop28 President-designate.

The meeting will be attended by Ahmed Al Zaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and ADGM, Nicholas Stern and Vera Songwe, co-chairs of the IHLEG, Amar Bhattacharya, executive secretary of the IHLEG, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, senior World Bank representatives and other economists.

The IHLEG aims to evaluate the progress being made on the climate finance landscape and develop a road map of actions needed during Cop28 and beyond.

The ultimate goal of IHLEG is to advance a holistic financial framework for resource mobilisation to deliver an equitable and efficient climate finance system, as set out in the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Pact, and start its implementation.

"Concrete actions by Abu Dhabi and its entities such as the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and ADGM are defining the new architecture for financing sustainability. Our goal is simple and direct – to drive capital towards projects that advance the transition to a net-zero future," Mr Al Zaabi said.

The financial sector has an important role to play in the fight against climate change, and sustainable finance aims to help society better meet today’s needs and ensure that future generations will be able to meet theirs too, according to the IMF.

The global sustainable finance market, which was valued at $3.65 trillion in 2021, is projected to hit $22.48 trillion by 2031, growing at a compound annual rate of more than 20 per cent between 2022 and 2031, according to Allied Market Research.

The IHLEG will launch a final report on sustainable finance at Cop28 and will establish a plan of actions to help execute the road map during the conference.

The UAE's Cop28 presidency has named "fixing climate finance" one of its four priority action pillars for the summit, alongside fast-tracking the energy transition, ensuring full inclusivity and addressing lives and livelihoods.

Updated: August 14, 2023, 9:42 AM