UAE Financial Sector Aims to Mobilize AED 1 Trillion in Sustainable Finance by 2030


In alignment with the U A E’s hosting of COP28, the U A E Banks Federation (UBF) has unveiled a major initiative from the UAE banking sector. The aim is to collectively mobilize over one trillion dirhams in sustainable finance by 2030. As a not-for-profit organization representing 56 members operating in the country, UBF serves as the leading industry association for the U A E banking sector. Its primary objective is to provide exceptional professional representation and a distinctive collective voice for the banks of the UAE.


Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates

Coordinated by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) in partnership with the COP28 Presidency, a global event was organized on Finance Day at COP28. The event facilitated discussions on global climate finance solutions and progress towards a sustainable future. During this event, the U A E Banks Federation made the significant announcement regarding the mobilization of funds for sustainable finance.

Finance Day at COP28

The event, held on Finance Day at COP28, supports the CBUAE’s strategy to lead sustainable finance efforts and promote climate action. Distinguished global leaders, including H.E. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; H.E. Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, participated in a panel discussion. These leaders emphasized the crucial role of sustainable finance in global climate action and highlighted strategies to address challenges faced by different regions worldwide.

In his keynote address, His Excellency Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE, underscored the financial system’s vital role in developing green and sustainable finance. He emphasized the significance of advancing innovative solutions, ensuring progress in the financial sector, and safeguarding resilience. Additionally, His Excellency highlighted the importance of technology in achieving sustainable development goals, emphasizing the potential of sustainable finance to leverage digitalization and innovation for global transformation towards sustainability.


His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, expressed the critical role of the financial sector in realizing collective climate ambitions. He emphasized that achieving net-zero emissions relies on strategic capital allocation towards environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient investments. The announcement by U A E banks demonstrates the country’s commitment to lead by example and deliver actionable solutions to sustainability and the climate crisis. This bold initiative sets a strong precedent for global actors to follow, encouraging collaboration on a significant scale to confront future challenges.


As the urgency to address environmental concerns increases, transitioning to net-zero emissions becomes an imperative goal. The U A E’s public and private sector entities have integrated their economic and environmental ambitions, while the financial sector has designed comprehensive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies. These strategies create an enabling environment for green capital to thrive, with initiatives targeting key sectors such as energy, infrastructure, transport, and trade.

Promoting sustainable finance vehicles, fostering cross-border partnerships, and advocating for international green standards are central to this approach. By aligning investments with green projects and sustainable ventures, firms can tap into a growing global demand while mitigating risks associated with environmental volatility. Incorporating ESG standards into investment strategies amplifies potential returns and buffers against unforeseen global challenges.

New Markets


Sustainable finance opens doors to new markets, diverse portfolios, and innovative revenue models. Green bonds, once considered niche, are rapidly gaining popularity as they offer issuers and investors a lucrative and environmentally responsible investment avenue.


The UAE government has created an open platform for discourse, ideation, and collaboration on sustainability, and it is now incumbent upon businesses, both local and global, to reciprocate. By shaping policies that are financially prudent and environmentally indispensable, we can collectively strive for a better and more sustainable tomorrow.



Coinciding with the UAE’s hosting of COP28, the CBUAE, in collaboration with the COP28 Presidency, organized an event to facilitate global climate finance solutions and progress towards a sustainable future. During this event, the UAE Banks Federation announced a significant initiative, aiming to mobilize over one trillion dirhams in sustainable finance by 2030.


Hosted during Finance Day at COP28, the event aligns with the strategic vision of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) to take the lead in sustainable finance, facilitating climate action. Prominent leaders from major international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Managing Director Ravi Menon, and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney, came together to address global climate action and promote sustainable finance.


In his keynote address, Governor Khaled Mohamed Balama of the CBUAE emphasized the pivotal role of the financial system in developing green and sustainable finance. He emphasized the need for progress in the financial sector, the advancement of innovative solutions, and the importance of ensuring resilience. Additionally, Balama highlighted the transformative potential of sustainable finance, leveraging digitalization and innovation to drive global sustainability and achieve sustainable development goals.

Global climate action and Sustainable finance

The event also underscored the significance of digitalization and advanced technology in fostering global climate action and sustainable finance. It showcased 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. The TechSprint aims to accelerate the development of innovative technology solutions in sustainable finance, thereby scaling up climate action.

Furthermore, the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) made a substantial commitment to mobilize $270 billion in sustainable finance by 2030. His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, Chairman of the UBF, announced this pledge at the event, which was jointly organized by the CBUAE and the COP28 Presidency. The goal of the commitment is to support and facilitate global climate finance solutions, contributing to a sustainable future. The UBF, representing all banks in the UAE, has actively collaborated with partners to accelerate progress towards sustainable development goals. Several UBF member banks have already directed significant funding towards green projects, renewable energy, waste-to-energy initiatives, and green technologies.


Moreover, the UBF is working diligently to strengthen the principles and frameworks of green finance under the supervision of the CBUAE. The federation has established a high-level Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) committee comprising specialist experts from UBF member banks. This committee plays a central role in reinforcing the principles and frameworks of green finance, aligning them with the UAE’s commitment to sustainability in the banking and financial sector.

In summary

The UAE Banks Federation’s commitment to mobilize $270 billion in sustainable finance by 2030 marks a significant step towards a greener future. This initiative demonstrates the UAE’s dedication to building a sustainable and environmentally responsible economy. The funding will be directed towards various green projects, driving economic growth, and positioning the UAE as a global leader in sustainable finance. By combatting climate change, fostering a thriving green economy, and shaping a brighter future, the UAE is taking concrete actions to ensure a sustainable legacy for future generations.

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