2023's Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) in Dubai hosted a panel titled Sustainable Finance Unleashed: Accelerating the Green Transition in MENA's Financial Landscape. The event brought experts together to discuss accelerating the capital investment needed for the region's energy transition.
Elias Hajj, a partner at McKinsey & Company, moderated the panel discussion. The discussion began with an overview of the obstacles facing the MENA region and potential resolutions. Shaker Zainal from Emirates Development Bank offered his insights from decades in the consumer banking sector.
Jeffrey Beyer, founder and managing director of Zest Associates, spoke on mechanisms for mobilizing sustainable finance within the region. He uncovered a unique synergy between state-owned enterprises, sovereign wealth funds, and policymakers with the potential to accelerate strategic investments. Beyer brought attention to promising practices in the region, including the development of green taxonomies in Saudi Arabia and by Abu Dhabi's Global Market. He also pointed out that regional sovereign wealth funds have significantly advanced in ESG indicators since 2020, according to the Global Sovereign Wealth Funds GSR Scorecard.
This panel at WETEX was not just a discussion, but a call to action for policymakers, financial experts, and the public. It underscores the need to embrace sustainable finance for a greener future through public-private partnerships and innovative financial instruments, paving the way for a sustainable transformation of the region's financial landscape.