The annoucement came on Monday, which is dedicated to finance discussions at COP28. File image of COP28 banner near Al Wasl dome at Expo City Dubai. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: The UAE Banks Federation (UBF) has pledged to mobilise Dh 1 trillion (over $270 billion) in green finance, Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, said at COP28 on Monday.

Speaking at a day dedicated to finance at the event in Dubai, the Federation joins a growing list of pledges on everything from building renewable energy to helping farmers improve soil quality.

"At this pivotal moment, it is my great honour to announce a landmark commitment that, fulfilling the UAE ambition, our UBF national banking banks have collectively pledged to mobilise over Dh1 trillion," said Al Ghurair. He also said the funding would put ‘no extra pressure on the UAE Central Bank’. UBF is a not-for-profit organisation representing 56 banking members operating in the country.

Al Ghurair, “The UAE banking sector is really crucial in this climate forum. Within the confines of this climate forum, we are presented with unparalleled opportunity… a chance to engage in discussion of monumental significance.”

He called on banking institutions in the UAE to engage in a meaningful discussion, cooperation and dialogue seeking ‘real solutions’ for the climate crisis. "We are a catalyst for action,” he told UAE banks, adding that the commitment would propel the country towards its 2050 Net Zero milestone. “Our aim aligns seamlessly with the UAE government climate agenda and the year of sustainability,” Al Ghurair added.

$5 trillion needed: IMF

Other speakers at the climate finance summit included Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary (IMF) Fund; Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.

The IMF Chief has said at least $5 trillion would be needed for countries to pay for climate mitigation, including efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation – adjusting to climate change.

Technology plays a vital role, says CBUAE governor

Meanwhile, Khaled Mohamed Balama, the UAE Central Bank Governor, stressed the importance of technology in achieving sustainable development objectives.

He highlighted the solutions of the COP28 UAE TechSprint – a global initiative launched by the CBUAE in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements, the COP28 Presidency, and the Emirates Institute of Finance, to advance innovative technology solutions in sustainable finance to scale up climate action.

‘Serious investors’

Al Ghurair also called on stage the most significant contributors to the commitment, which included Hana Rostamani, Group CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank; Ala’a Mohamed Atta Khalil Eraiqat, Group CEO of ADCB; Shayne Nelson, CEO of Emirates NBD; Ahmed Abdelaal, the CEO of Mashreq Bank; and Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank. “These are serious partners who have worked together in the last few months to put up this serious number,” explained Al Ghurair.