RIYADH: Six Emirati banks have supported the green energy initiatives in the UAE by funding projects worth 190 billion dirhams ($51.8 billion) in 2022, according to the UAE Banks Federation.
The UBF said First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ENBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreq, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank collectively led the renewable energy projects last year.
The significant increase in green financing by UBF members aligns with the Central Bank of the UAE’s Sustainable Finance Working Group guidelines and overarching sustainability goals.
These efforts further the initiatives of the Year of Sustainability and bolster the UAE’s role as the host of the upcoming UN climate change meeting, also referred to as COP28.
In January, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan announced the Year of Sustainability initiative, a nationwide commitment to fuel climate change practices.
“We at UBF are committed to supporting its goals in delivering necessary changes in our UAE finance sector. And, in line with the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2050 and UN’s SDGs, our financial sector is playing a pivotal role in helping the UAE achieve net-zero emissions,” said UBF Director General Jamal Saleh in a statement.
Furthermore, the country has dedicated a national transformation plan called the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2050, which aims to boost the share of clean energy in the total mix to 30 percent by 2031 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Achieving net-zero emissions requires the full participation of the financial sector to channel capital into environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient investments. Together with our member banks, we are working under the direct supervision of the Central Bank of the UAE to further advance sustainable finance in the region,” said Saleh.
He added: “Collaboratively defining a framework for accountability and best practices will encourage the transition to a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and resilient economy.”
Moreover, the UAE is one of the first countries in the world to include sustainability reports among the mandatory disclosures of public companies listed on the stock exchange.