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  • Writer's pictureEthan Fulton

New WETEX panel: Unleashing sustainable finance in MENA's green transition

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

sustainable finance panel wetex
The panel featured (left to right) Elida Hajj, Jeffrey Beyer, Antoine Poussard, Alexis Issaharoff, and Shaker Zainal

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.

WETEX financial acceleration panel speakers
The panel provided diverse perspectives from leaders in power solutions, banking, financial advisory, and consulting

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.

Antoine Poussard of Finergreen, a leading financial advisory boutique for renewables, presented on key trends in sustainable finance.

Beyer Zest sustainable finance presentation
Jeffrey Beyer presents recommendations to provide a supportive enabling environment for sustainable finance

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.


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