DIFC's $100 Billion Sustainable Finance Catalyst for Climate-Focused Growth
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched the Sustainable Finance Catalyst initiative in a bid to address the climate finance gap and aims to channel $100 billion through Dubai by 2030.
Christian Kunz, the Chief Strategy, Innovation & Ventures Officer at DIFC, highlighted that achieving this target would mark a remarkable 600% increase in capital flow compared to the $17.1 billion raised between 2018 and 2022.
Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), announced a significant support measure for this initiative.
The DFSA will waive all regulatory fees for issuers seeking to list sustainability-related debt securities in the DIFC throughout 2024. This immediate and year-long fee waiver is intended to encourage and facilitate participation in sustainable financing activities.
Speaking at the COP28 event in Expo City Dubai, Kunz emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to achieve global climate goals and sustainable development.
He outlined the four pillars of the Sustainable Finance Catalyst, including the launch of an AI-driven knowledge hub, the expansion of sustainable and Islamic finance, capacity-building, and upskilling the talent pool to drive faster sustainability-driven innovation.
Acknowledging challenges related to fund deployment and transparency, Kunz expressed confidence in overcoming these hurdles by leveraging existing strengths.
He highlighted DIFC's position as the top sustainable finance hub in the region, with Nasdaq Dubai leading as the largest sustainable capital market with over $28.8 billion in green sustainable debt rates.
Kunz emphasized the significance of Islamic funds in achieving the initiative's goals and detailed the Catalyst's commitment to building a robust talent pool.
The Sustainable Finance Catalyst aims to support one million future sustainability leaders by providing access to curated sustainability training programs, knowledge resources, toolkits, networking opportunities, and events.
Beyond the Catalyst, DIFC announced that the Dubai Future District Fund will allocate up to 20% of its AED 1 billion fund to support sustainability-driven tech and innovation start-ups and scale-ups.
This initiative, in collaboration with the Dubai Future Foundation, aims to foster growth and innovation in alignment with sustainable practices.
Kunz concluded by highlighting the importance of equipping future leaders with knowledge, fostering innovation, and creating positive change across solutions, financial products, and policies.
Bindu Rai / Zawya