|09 November, 2017

The green economy is critical to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Ammar Radhi is responsible for leading the global Islamic finance business for the Thomson Reuters group. His focus has been the intersection of technology, financial services, media and intelligence to produce actionable results across the Islamic markets, from high street Sukuk to main street SMEs. He previously worked as a consultant in the Gulf Growth Capital Fund at Investcorp, responsible for investment intelligence and research on growth companies in the GCC.


In order for the world to maintain it's current GDP growth trajectory, there will have to be more than $57 trillion invested in infrastructure through 2030

A signature announcement at the World Green Economy Summit was the announcement by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) and National Bonds of the investment of 2.4 billion UAE dirhams ($653 million) into a new Green Fund that will eventually be 100 billion UAE dirhams ($27.2 billion). The fund will invest in renewable energy, retrofitting and green projects. The fund will promote energy efficiency and will benefit from having a lead investor such as National Bonds, a Shariah compliant retail savings product. 

The summit, held under the theme 'Driving Innovation, Leading Change' included two days of discussions about the green economy, including the role for the financial sector in promoting the transition to more environmentally friendly development.  One key area within the discussion was the need to develop smart cities that use technology both for efficiency and environmental sustainability. 

In order for the world to maintain it's current GDP growth trajectory, there will have to be more than $57 trillion invested in infrastructure through 2030, much of which will happen in cities that are now the home to more than half of the world’s population. A portion of this investment need will be put into environmentally sustainable infrastructure, as well as investments to adapt to the changes brought on by climate change. In order to help pay for the costs, a focus by cities on smart infrastructure can help to save up to $1 trillion.

One of the features of the World Green Economy Summit was the Emirates Energy Award, which featured 33 winners in a variety of categories, including research and development, where Abu Dhabi-based Masdar was recognised for a renewable energy desalination project. The connection of the green economy to new innovation was highlighted throughout the summit, which was held in conjunction with the 19th annual Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX).

Moving forward, the work of the summit will be carried forward by the World Green Economy Organization, one of the organisers of the summit, which welcomed the United Arab Emirates, Italy and South Korea to its Countries Platform. Together the national and private sector stakeholders who were represented at the World Green Economy Summit will increase momentum around the global economy, which is critical to achieving both the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals on schedule by 2030.

Any opinions expressed here are the author’s own.

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