COP28 - WAIFC members plan a legacy for Financial centers post COP28
With a series of surrounding events and in partnership with UAE members Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) members discussed reporting standards, finance flows, and empowering FCs to drive Sustainable Finance.
Throughout the year, critical partnerships have been formed to help WAIFC drive a common narrative for members to address, and with a strong program put together by DIFC and the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) through its SDG Hive Sessions, it provided a platform for members from several regions to share nuances as to how FCs can be empowered to drive collaboration and taking a global approach to driving sustainable finance. Members from Casablanca, London, Dubai, Rwanda, Frankfurt, and South Korea presented views from 6 regions. Co-organized with GEFI and TheCityUK, a panel hosted by DIFC featured WAIFC members representing several international financial centers. They shared their approaches to advance sustainable finance concretely. Speakers included Chika Muorah from TheCityUK, Mourad Fathallah from Casablanca Finance City, Hubertus Väth from Frankfurt Main Finance, Dr. Soongoo Ahn from Busan Finance Center, Hortense Mudenge from Kigali International Financial Centre, and Christian Kunz from DIFC.
The SDG Hive series, a cornerstone of the COP28 UAE, provided a platform for finance practitioners to acquire essential skills to address the climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Esteemed speakers, including the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Michael Mainelli, Dame Susan Rice, Cara Williams, and WAIFC leaders, focused on critical topics during the event on December 6 and 7. These discussions built upon the annual Ethical Finance Global Summit's SDG Hive, emphasizing the urgency and importance of sustainable finance.
The pinnacle of WAIFC’s program at COP28 was a roundtable entitled “accelerating adoption of a common reporting framework through FCs”. Led by Abdul-Rahim Osman, Senior Project Manager at WAIFC, and co-hosted by Liv Watson (DSD project), the session focused on setting a foundation for a paper to help FCs accelerate common practices in sustainability reporting.
With a lack of standardization in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, the existence of various sustainability standards and frameworks such as ESRS, GRI, ISSB, the GHG Protocol, CDP, XBRL etc., the absence of a unified global approach creates significant challenges for corporations, who face increasing demands from regulators and investors to provide detailed and comprehensive reports, often resulting in considerable overlap and duplication of efforts in terms of generation, compilation, and dissemination of data. The discussion explored how FCs can effectively contribute to this acceleration, fostering a more coherent and efficient ESG reporting ecosystem with inputs from ISSB, CDP, and others.
Our senior project manager Abdul Rahim said following the session:
“Collaboration is a key message from COP, and forming partnerships is critical for any global alliance. True to the WAIFC's mission to share best practices, it was an overwhelming achievement to gather such experts during this roundtable. The outputs that shall follow in q1,2024 will be a testament to what we heard from all participating bodies, where we saw a demonstration from London and California of how to adopt reporting mechanisms that can benefit the private sector. We look forward to consolidating what members have been doing with regards to reporting frameworks and outlining some common understanding of what more can be done globally to accelerate adoption in different regions.”
WAIFC expresses its appreciation to Liv Watson and the XBRL team for their input and collaboration on this. As well as DIFC and GEFI for partnering sessions during COP28.
Keep an eye out for the outputs of these sessions during 2024 by following our channels.