Path to COP28: a year of impact

As a very busy 2023 draws to an end, we wanted to reach out and extend a thank you, on behalf of the GEFI team, for your interest and on-going support of our work.

Over the last 14 months, much of our focus has been on our Path to COP28. Underpinned by a strong partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre, the Path to COP28 was the largest finance-focused campaign driving practical action for COP28. We have prepared an impact report, found below, to highlight our achievements.

The COP28 agreement signals the “beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era by laying the ground for a swift, just, and equitable transition, underpinned by deep emissions cuts and scaled-up finance. GEFI is committed to ensuring these pledges are turned into real-economy outcomes, without delay.

Reflecting on GEFI Events at COP28

The GEFI Path to COP28 programme of events brought together the key workstreams from our year long campaign. We have received lots of positive feedback from both speakers and participants, highlighting the value of practitioner expertise and quality of engagement in facilitating an in-depth discussion with actionable insights.

On Finance Day at COP28, GEFI was proud to convene over 300 delegates at its Path to COP28 Climate Finance Summit that took place in the DIFC Atrium on Monday 4th December 2023.

Read our reflections »

With over 200 practitioners in attendance, GEFI’s Unlocking Islamic Finance Summit was the largest Islamic finance-focused event at COP28.

Read our reflections »

On December 6th and 7th, GEFI hosted two full days of technical, insightful, inspiring SDG Hive sessions at the DIFC Academy in Dubai.

Read our reflections »

GEFI hosted a series of enlightening evening lectures on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of December at COP28, delving into the profound ideas of Adam Smith and Ibn Khaldun.

Read our reflections »

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PARTNERS

Our next event

Thursday 9th November 2023 from 14.00GMT; LSEG, London

Join us at the Pre-COP28 Summit – Transforming Climate Finance, taking place less than 30 days before COP28. This exclusive event will see finance professionals and industry leaders gather to drive the global conversation on climate finance.

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Our events during COP28

The Path to COP28, the first and largest finance-focused campaign for COP28, brought together high-profile institutions and thought leaders to raise awareness and drive action from the global finance sector.

Download the Path to COP28 Event Programme

Event Timeline during COP28


Our high profile events that built momentum at COP28

Climate's Impact: The Rise and Fall of Economies and Nations

During COP28, we explored the work of two famed economists and philosophers in light of the climate crisis. During COP28 on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of December in Dubai, GEFI hosted a series of evening lectures on Scottish Enlightenment economist Adam Smith and famed Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun, tackling their views on profit and purpose, their understanding of the rise and fall of empires, and their approaches to solving collective problems.

The series built upon our work Glasgow’s COP26, where we hosted a similar series focused on Adam Smith, and published our Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series, which explored how his theories could be applied to contemporary economic challenges such as the climate crisis.

Get more information

The time for gradual changes is over: we need to finance our survival. Wildfires have raged across Europe for a second successive summer. Across the world, pressure is being put on scare water, agricultural land and endangered species.

With the global stocktake taking place during COP28, we developed our COP28 Climate Finance Summit in consultation with the COP28 team, bringing together leading bankers, asset managers, regulators, multilaterals and more to understand how we can finance survival.

Get more information

Unlocking Positive Systemic Change: Identifying Leverage Points for Sustainable Transformation

During COP28, we explored the work of two famed economists and philosophers in light of the climate crisis. During COP28 on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of December in Dubai, GEFI hosted a series of evening lectures on Scottish Enlightenment economist Adam Smith and famed Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun, tackling their views on profit and purpose, their understanding of the rise and fall of empires, and their approaches to solving collective problems.

The series built upon our work Glasgow’s COP26, where we hosted a similar series focused on Adam Smith, and published our Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series, which explored how his theories could be applied to contemporary economic challenges such as the climate crisis.

Get more information

As COP28 came to Dubai, all eyes will were on the Islamic finance industry. Interest-free, Shariah compliant finance remains a largely untapped pool of capital for sustainability. This event explored how the two value-driven forms of finance can be aligned through new standards and improved practices.

Get more information

The Relationship between Profit and Purpose

During COP28, we explored the work of two famed economists and philosophers in light of the climate crisis. During COP28 on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of December in Dubai, GEFI hosted a series of evening lectures on Scottish Enlightenment economist Adam Smith and famed Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun, tackling their views on profit and purpose, their understanding of the rise and fall of empires, and their approaches to solving collective problems.

The series built upon our work Glasgow’s COP26, where we hosted a similar series focused on Adam Smith, and published our Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series, which explored how his theories could be applied to contemporary economic challenges such as the climate crisis.

Get more information

During COP28, our SDG Hive series provided a platform for high-impact discussions around select COP28 themes. The sessions built upon the SDG Hive from our annual Ethical Finance Global summit, and provided finance practitioners with the skills they need to address the climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Get more information

During COP28, our SDG Hive series provided a platform for high-impact discussions around select COP28 themes. The sessions built upon the SDG Hive from our annual Ethical Finance Global summit, and provided finance practitioners with the skills they need to address the climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Get more information

"Finance is the key that can unlock climate action and we are committed to supporting and facilitating the ongoing review of international financial institutions to scale up public financing, leverage private finance and improve access."

Dr Sultan Al Jaber
COP28 UAE President-Designate

A 12 month initiative that drove commitment and action ahead of COP28

With finance firmly embedded on the COP agenda we had build upon our previous successes to ensure the finance sector takes decisive action ahead of COP28. Our Path to COP28 campaign sought to encourage and support financial institutions to a just transition from commitment to implementation, measurement and reporting.

Through our 12 year+ expertise in ethical finance, established platforms and projects, GCC knowledge and strong global network our Path to COP28 campaign brought together stakeholders from across finance and beyond to drive climate action before, during and after COP28. GEFI’s Path to COP28 campaign was the first finance-focused campaign for COP28, and we were committed to making finance work for COP28, and COP28 work for finance.

“The Path to COP28 is inclusive global campaign open to all and we invite financial institutions and financial services stakeholders from across the globe to get involved.”

Dame Susan Rice
Chair, Global Steering Group
Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Activities and Events


The Path to COP28 launched in Dubai October 2022. The 12-month programme, initiated with our partners DIFC will included a range of activities and events under each of our four core workstreams.

Delivering Net Zero

  • The Path to COP28 campaign worked with pension providers, banks, governments, family offices and sovereign wealth funds to increase awareness and engagement around the just transition to Net Zero.

Financing Nature & Biodiversity

  • We partnered, in particular with UNDP, to deliver on nature and biodiversity thought leadership, TNFD and TCFD insight and perspectives from private sector investment.

Unlocking Islamic Finance

  • Raising awareness amongst global Islamic finance institutions, positioning green and sustainable sukuk as innovative financial instruments, encouraging Islamic finance institutions to engage with global and encouraging initiatives such as PRI and UN PRB.
SDG Investing
  • Promoting SDG linked financial product to attract new funds, facilitating the development of innovative financial products that are SDG aligned, and publishing thought-leadership articles that challenge the sector to become better aligned with the UNSDGs.

Launch event


At our launch event, together with DIFC – our host financial centre partner, we announced our four workstreams (Delivering Net Zero, Financing Nature & BioDiversity, Unlocking Islamic Finance, and Financing the SDGs) and hosted discussions including a keynote address by Dame Susan Rice looking at how COP26 went for banking, and guidance to be offered to the banking sector.

The event featured speakers including Dame Susan Rice (Financial Services Culture Board & GEFI), Arif Amiri (DIFC Authority), Dr. Abdelilah Belatik (CIBAFI) and Iqbal Khan (Fajr Capital).

More information »

Partnership Activities


As part of our Path to COP28 campaign, we teamed up with our media partners Asset TV to bring you a short introduction to each of our 4 workstreams. Across Delivering Net Zero, Unlocking Islamic Finance, Financing Nature and Biodiversity and SDG Investing, a series of interviews with leading practitioners gave an insight into what finance can achieve at COP28 in Dubai. Watch all four interviews now.

Visit our workstream series page »

As part of our Path to COP28 campaign, GEFI partnered with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, which was announced at the Path to COP28 launch event ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) taking place in Dubai.

Get to know them here

Islamic Finance and the UN SDGs

Retail banking customer perspectives


The Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC), Global Ethical Finance Initiative and Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) conducted a pioneering global survey that gauged the understanding and awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) amongst retail consumers of Islamic finance products.

Download the report

Driving Climate Action in the GCC

Supporting Family Offices, Private Equity Investors and Corporate Groups


By combining the RJF and GEFI teams we provided access to a pool of global practitioners with the knowledge and expertise to deliver world-class advice and support.

Our flexible 7-step approach provided a useful framework to financial institutions to develop and implement a climate / sustainability strategy. It has been designed to enable our team to step in at any given point in our clients’ climate / sustainability journey.

Learn more about this joint venture

Executive Education

Local delivery with global access; sustainable finance training at the heart of the sector.


In this Climate Finance Training Series, offered jointly by DIFC Academy and the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) as part of the Path to COP28 campaign, we helped finance practitioners to understand the COP process, global trends in climate finance and best practice approaches to developing and implementing net zero strategies.

Learn more about this joint venture

Financing a Sustainable Future

Green and sustainability sukuk report


With our partners the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and the UKIFC, we launched a report on green and sustainability sukuk, examining the potential for Islamic fixed income products to deliver financial returns and impact for the SDGs. The report was presented at the Dubai launch event for GEFI’s Path to COP28 campaign on 24th October.

Download the report

“ESG + Shariah compliant = Tayyib”

The world's first Islamic ESG framework


GEFI was working with UKIFC to launch the world’s first Islamic ESG framework at COP28 – a framework that practically enables the development of an innovative $1trn Tayyib classified segment of the Islamic finance sector.

The vision is for the Tayyib framework to underpin the development of investment strategies and funds that drive Islamic capital to green / sustainability investments that align with Islamic principles and support the achievement of NDC’s and the broader SDGs alongside widening the market opportunity for Islamic finance.

Learn about the UKIFC

Become an Endorser


Join the Path to COP28 and demonstrate your commitment to endorsing global climate action, to protecting our planet and to raising awareness of the financial risks and opportunities associated with climate change ahead of COP28 in Dubai and beyond.

GEFI at COP26


Our Path to COP26 campaign was the largest finance campaign for COP and brought together over 60 signatories, including 20 financial institutions representing £2 trillion in assets to drive finance for positive change at COP26.

The campaign was focused around 4 key workstreams:

  • Adam Smith at the COP
  • Finance for Nature
  • Faith in the SDGs
  • Net Zero Pensions

This included roundtables, summits, policy papers, issuing guidelines, publications, television articles, frameworks and product launches.

Our Path to COP26 Accomplishments and Activities

View our digital photobooks

Watch the videos from our events

Read the key findings from the faith, pensions and nature workstreams

Read the Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series

Explore our SDG Financial Products Platform

View our digital photobooks

Watch the videos from our events

Read the key findings from the faith, pensions and nature workstreams

Read the Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series

Explore our SDG Financial Products Platform

Get involved in our Path to COP28


We invite financial institutions and financial services stakeholders to join as a headline partner, strategic partner or endorser. Please click here to review our joining criteria.

Headline Partner

Primary branding with a comprehensive, mutually agreed programme of activities to run throughout the 12-month initiative.

Strategic Partner

Opportunities such as branding, speaking, partnering on a workstream, collaborating on research projects, reports and accessing the wider GEFI programme.

Endorser

Informal partnership to promote and, where appropriate, participate in Path to COP28 activities and events

“The Path to COP28 is inclusive global campaign open to all and we invite financial institutions and financial services stakeholders from across the globe to get involved. Based on our experience from COP26 our partners derived great value from connecting with peers, sharing thought leadership, engaging in our events and being part of an action-oriented community of practitioners.”

Chris Tait, Chief Operating Officer, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Download the Campaign Overview Document

The Path to COP28, the first and largest finance-focused campaign for COP28, brings together high-profile institutions and thought leaders to raise awareness and drive action from the global finance sector.

Download the Path to COP28 Event Programme

Strategic Partners


Scottish Government

Media Partner


Host Financial Centre


Endorsers