Sustainable finance may once have been a “niche subject”, it is now a key component that will shape the UAE’s economy, the Minister of Economy said today.

Speaking just days before the opening of climate summit COP28 in Dubai, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri said, told the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum, that sustainable finance, once a niche subject is now the “new kid on the block”.

“Our government truly believes in it, and we are committed to creating a conducive environment for responsible investment in the UAE, and we have the ambition of becoming a global hub for green finance,” he said.

“We understand that sustainable finance and responsible investing are essential components of the global financial landscape,” he said.

Other components shaping the UAE’s economic future cited by Al Marri were new economies, or investments in new economic sectors, and major industries such as artificial intelligence (AI) technology and advanced manufacturing.

Al Marri also cited carbon trading, which he described as a “crucial market”. Last week Dubai Financial Market (DFM) announced that it was launching carbon credit trading, while Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced its own launch last year.

“Our goal is to foster an environment to that encourages responsible investment and sustainable practices and to create wealth, not just for the sake of it, but on a foundation for sustainability and environmental stewardship.

“Our vision encompasses traditional trade in goods, as well as digital assets, and carbon trading aligning with the global imperative to address climate change,” he said. 

Al Marri concluded his speech by saying that the current regional situation requires “double efforts to maintain our development and economic momentum”.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)