Unlocking Islamic Finance at COP28

Tuesday 5th December 2023, 09:00 - 13:20, DIFC Atrium
09:00 - 09:30 Registration & Networking
09:30 - 13:20 Summit

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

Discussion points:

  • Green and Sustainable Sukuk
  • Moving from Halal to Tayyib - enhancing consideration of ESG factors
  • Shariah scholars and their role on sustainability
  • The Tayyib Project: launch
Download the agenda now »

Confirmed speakers will join us from:

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Chairman, Leadership Council of the Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre (MIFC); Global Sterring Group, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar

Net Zero Transition & Partnerships, HSBC

Naveen Raza

Chief Executive Officer, Fajr Capital

Iqbal Khan

Fund Manager, Jupiter Asset Management

Salman Siddiqui

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Omar is the Director and Co-founder of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI).

A Chartered Accountant by profession, he specialises in ethical/responsible finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services, has advised multiple governments and regulators on financial inclusion policy and for over 15 years has been a leading advocate for ethical and responsible finance. His background includes working with EY London where he was former Head of Islamic finance.

Omar launched the award-winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series, a platform that led to the inception of the Ethical Finance Hub and GEFI. Through his work he has established a number of initiatives, including the Ethical Finance Summit (a major conference), the finance for nature project with UNDP creating innovative financing structures for the SDGs and the interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration. GEFI has recently launched the Path to COP26 campaign, bringing together stakeholders to advance climate finance ahead of the crucial 2021 Glasgow summit.

Omar received a BAcc from the University of Glasgow, is a member of ICAS and holds select board advisory roles including with the Prince’s Trust Scotland and supporting Glasgow Museums on preserving South Asian Heritage in Scotland.

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Dame Susan Rice, a Chartered Banker, chairs the Financial Services Culture Board and was founding chair of the Chartered Banker: Professional Standards Board. She also chairs Scottish Water, Business Stream and the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Scotland’s independent economic and fiscal forecaster.  In addition, she is Senior Independent Director of J Sainsbury, and of the North American Income Trust. The first woman to head a UK clearing bank, she was Chief Executive and Chairman of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc, then Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group.  She was previously a Non-Executive Director of the Bank of England and energy company SSE. She has helped develop approaches to social finance in the US and UK, led work on cultural and ethical standards for bankers, chaired Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group and now works with P-CAN. Previously, she was Senior Vice President at NatWest Bancorp in New York and, earlier in her career, a Dean at Yale and Colgate Universities in America and a published medical researcher. At GEFI, Susan oversees the activities as Chair of the Global Steering Group.

Chairman, Leadership Council of the Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre (MIFC); Global Sterring Group, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar

Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar is currently the Chairman of Lembaga Tabung Haji Malaysia (Hajj Pilgrims Fund Board), the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), the Chairman of INCEIF (The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance) and the Chairman of the Leadership Council of the Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre (MIFC). Between June 2004 and July 2018, he was the Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”), Malaysia’s strategic investment fund. His other current affiliations include as a member of the Global Future Council on Investing of the World Economic Forum (Davos), a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) based in Edinburgh and as a board member of MERCY Malaysia, a humanitarian relief organization. Azman was the Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge (February 2019 to February 2021) and a Bye-Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge (February 2019 to February 2022). His research interest is in the area of Finance and its impact on Society.

He is also currently a member of the Majlis Kebangsaan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Malaysia (National Council for Islamic Affairs, Malaysia) and until recently, the Majlis Pemulihan Negara (National Recovery Council (for Covid-19)) and the Majlis Kemakmuran Bumiputera (Bumiputera Prosperity Council) in Malaysia. Azman is also a member of the Board of Governors of The Malay College Kuala Kangsar, an Adjunct Professor at UTM, a trustee of the Wawasan Education Foundation in Penang, Malaysia, a member of the Finance Advisory Committee of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, a board member of VB Asset Management LLC, a Venture Capital Fund investing in Life Sciences in the United States and an Advisor to The Hive IV, a Silicon Valley based Technology Venture Capital fund. In early 2020, he co-founded Fitrah Capital Associates, a financial and strategy advisory firm incorporated in the United Arab Emirates.

Net Zero Transition & Partnerships, HSBC

Naveen Raza

Chief Executive Officer, Fajr Capital

Iqbal Khan

Fund Manager, Jupiter Asset Management

Salman Siddiqui

Salman leads Jupiter’s Global Islamic Strategy. He has been an early pioneer and thought leader in Tayyib investing: combining traditional exclusion-based shariah investing with pro-active ESG engagement. He is part of a Global Steering Committee on Tayyib Investing convened by Global Ethical Finance Initiative and UK Islamic Finance Council. He has participated in many high profile industry events and panels including most recently at COP28 in Dubai.  Salman joined Jupiter in June 2017 as an Investment Manager in Global Emerging Markets Equities.  Prior to this, he spent a decade at Nomura Asset Management where he led the firm’s Emerging Frontier, Africa, MENA and Turkey fund strategies. He has over 20 years’ experience, including 5 years with Deloitte in Audit and Corporate Finance. Salman started his career as an Equity Capital Markets analyst at Citigroup in 2001. Salman is a Chartered Accountant and has an MA from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics & Economics.

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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