"We are on a highway to climate hell"António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Follow our activities, events and insights from COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh

The COP27 Youth & Future Generations Day was a great opportunity to share a dialogue with new voices. Hearing from youth activists and the generation who will suffer the worst effects of the climate crisis is a critical part of the conversation around climate and sustainability. We heard from Xiye Bastida who spoke out about the challenges of having to inherit and live with the problems climate change is creating, and how to stay optimistic in this context.

The broader conversation was around education requirements in the system – how can we make sure there are different perspectives in the room to ensure the collaboration of different views when it comes to issues as critical as climate and sustainability?

COP27 is a great forum for change, but it’s a busy event with a lot of competing voices. Our #PathtoCOP28 is a chance to get away from the crowds and focus on sustained advocacy and thought leadership. We have enjoyed presentations, listened with intent and look forward to working with many of the parties represented on the Path to COP28.

Join us: pathtocop28.com

Finance Day at COP27 was always going to be the busy day for us. 

Today we saw more engagement from the business community, but not just within their typical bubbles – engaging in unfamiliar situations. We witnessed the industrial leaders rub shoulders with activists, young people, indigenous people, NGOs, environmental and agricultural agencies – a multitude of non-traditional stakeholders.

These are important discussions at an important juncture. 

Our Founder, Omar Shaikh was a panelist in a session hosted at the CGI Pavilion, titled Green Finance and Climate Action. 

On this important subject, we heard insights from key players in climate finance, including Caroline Haas of NatWest Group: “The big different between #COP26 and #COP27 is moving from commitment to implementation, That means setting sector-specific targets & pathways, working with clients including SMEs and more.”

Technology will play a major role in the climate challenge, as Eva Cairns of abrdn, observed: “We need to invest in companies that are delivering the technology for a low-carbon future. It’s about real-world decarbonisation, not scrubbing a portfolio clean.”

The IsDB event was kicked off with remarks from Dr Zamir Iqbal, who explained that there has been strong demand for IsDB green sukuk and sustainability sukuk from mainstream ESG investors, products that are in line with ICMA green bonds principles.

Some key takeaways: There is a significant potential in the international ESG market; there is a need for more nature-based solution sukuk and Islamic Finance needs to play a role in climate crisis.

Green finance and climate action

Omar Shaikh, Panelist

The financial and technology sectors must be at the heart of climate change.

Financial resources and sound investments are needed to address climate change. Hear from our panel of industry experts as they discuss the need to reduce emissions and promote adaptation to negate the impacts that are already occurring, and to build ongoing resilience.

  • Omar Shaikh – Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI)
  • Cara Williams – Mercer
  • Eva Cairns – abrdn Investment Trusts
  • Caroline Haas – NatWest Markets Plc
  • Adrian Rimmer – LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group)
  • Mattie Yeta PhD – CGI

Green Sukuk for Climate Action – Challenges and Prospects

Omar Shaikh, Panelist

To actualise the 2030 sustainable development agenda, Paris Agreement, and ultimately drive green and sustained economic growth, a huge amount of financing is required from diverse, unconventional, and innovative sources. The sustainable debt market continues to play a significant role in this space. In recent years, Green and Sustainability-linked debt market instruments, including Green Sukuk/bond and Sustainability Sukuk/bond, have emerged as bespoke financial instruments to tackle the numerous environmental and social challenges throughout the world and their role towards achieving the SDGs and efforts to transition into a green economy has only expanded.

There is a growing need to scale up and leverage sustainability-linked finance from non-traditional financing modalities such as Sukuk, including their alignment with institutional, legal, and governance frameworks to boost global efforts and ambitions to transition to a green, robust, and resilient economy.

Green Sukuk represents an opportunity to attract capital at scale to help OIC Member Countries (and beyond) fund their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments, which will be the focus of this Side Event.

António Guterres: “We are on a highway to climate hell”

A final thought for our first day at COP27. Despite the optimism we can have about the future leadership of the climate movement, we are deep in a climate emergency. We need foundational solutions and finance must be a part of that.

António Guterres is right, we need avoid getting to the point of no return. Cooperate or perish. We will play our part tomorrow.

One of the most encouraging features of this COP is the diversity. As one Speaker on a UN panel made clear, this is not about being a future leader, these underrepresented groups should be the leaders of today.

Our MD Omar Shaikh shared some thoughts about his experience on Day 1 at COP27:

“It is humbling to be a part of COP27. Any summit of this scale arrives with a sense of excitement, but when the subject is so vital, it is encouraging to see collective voices, young and old, present their contribution to the climate challenge. I’m looking forward to playing my part, and GEFI’s role tomorrow and beyond.”

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