Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched the Sustainable Finance Catalyst to mark COP28’s Finance Day. The initiative aims to grow sustainable finance raised from Dubai to $100bn by 2030. DIFC said that the Sustainable Finance Catalyst will form part of COP28’s legacy. Specifically, it aims to unlock opportunities and create impact beyond the conference. The initiative will be enabled by the first AI-driven sustainability knowledge hub. The catalyst will activate a network of strategic partners to train and grow its 1 million sustainability leaders. And it aims to grow its sustainability-driven start-up ecosystem 50 times its current size by 2030. In particular, it will provide faster and cost-effective ways for companies to access sustainability knowledge and data and sustainable financing, and develop key capabilities in this domain.

DIFC Innovation One

The Sustainable Finance Catalyst will be hosted in the new DIFC Innovation One centre. It becomes Dubai’s first centralised intelligence unit focused on sustainable finance. investing in awareness, capability and innovation. Essa Kazim, Governor, DIFC, said: “Aligning with DIFC’s 2030 Strategy to drive the future of finance, the aim of the first Sustainable Finance Catalyst in the MEASA region is to help grow sustainable finance flows from Dubai to $100bn by 2030, further unlocking access for the Global South. To do so, DIFC has established a portfolio of training programmes and events in collaboration with the DIFC Academy and DIFC Innovation Hub, alongside leading experts, strategic partners, and government entities. The initiatives will further position DIFC and Dubai as a global hub for sustainable finance. It will enable continued upskilling of top talent, and amplify action on climate finance.”

20% of Dubai Future District Fund allocated for sustainable innovation

The Dubai Future District Fund will allocate up to 20% of the AED1bn fund to drive growth. It will back sustainability-driven tech and innovation start-ups and scale-ups, in collaboration with Dubai Future Foundation, in their capacity as founding partners of the fund. The new fund is aligned with DIFC Strategy 2030 core pillars centred around shaping the future of finance and innovation. This is designed to boost access to finance for leading tech and innovation firms with a strong focus on innovative solutions set to tackle pressing global challenges.

DIFC and the Dubai Financial Market spearhead innovation for carbon market

Holistic emissions reductions across all sectors are required to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. Innovation in financing instruments is needed to help achieve that. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) introduced a pilot programme for trading carbon credits in November. Details of the initiative will be released in more detail during COP28.