Abu Dhabi to host inaugural Green Business Summit

ABU DHABI, 1st April, 2018 (WAM) — The first-ever Green Business Summit in Abu Dhabi will include a series of special panel discussions led by leading experts in international policy and sustainable development.

Key topics include an assessment of global sustainability initiatives, how governments can create a policy framework that stimulates the transition to a greener future, and what it will take for the financial sector to encode sustainability into the capital markets.

The Green Business Summit, taking place at the Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi on 17th April, will focus on the effect of economic growth on the natural environment, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, and how businesses and the private sector can align growth with sustainable development.

Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Assistant Director-General at UNESCO, and Polly Courtice, Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, will host the first panel discussion on operating within the “planetary playing field.”

Ryabinin and Courtice will address the challenges and opportunities presented by the planetary boundaries framework, which identifies and quantifies nine boundaries under which humanity can develop sustainably. Since its introduction in 2009, the framework has gone on to underpin much of the world’s present thinking, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Siim Kiisler, Estonia’s Minister of Environment, Mohamed Mubarakh bin Daina, Chief Executive of Bahrain’s Supreme Council for the Environment, and Khaled Mohamed Fahmy Abdel Aal, Egypt’s Minister of Environment, will host a panel discussion on the politics of change.

The financial industry is well positioned to become a driver of this shift towards green growth, and Eklavya Sareen, HSBC’s MENA Regional Head of Advisory, Sean Kidney, Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Bonds Initiative, Mark Campanale, Founder of Carbon Tracker, and Michael Tran, Director of Global Energy Strategy at RBC, will discuss how capital can be used as a tool for sustainable development during a panel discussion on encoding sustainability into capital markets.

Commenting on the programme, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi said, “The emirate of Abu Dhabi’s fast-paced development has increased the need for new policies and regulations, which would be most effective if drawn up through collaboration. Fostering links with key industry players through the Green Business Summit will be beneficial to the emirate as it moves to tackle environmental challenges by fostering innovation and collaboration between scientists, policymakers, investors and business leaders, enhancing the position of Abu Dhabi as a green hub.”

Kaleefa Salem Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, emphasised that the Green Business Summit translates the policies and approaches of the government of Abu Dhabi in supporting the efforts toward achieving sustainable development, especially in the environment-related business sector.

Gregg Carlstrom, Middle East Correspondent for The Economist, added, “We are delighted to be hosting such a diverse range of internationally recognised speakers, and these special panel discussions are yet another way in which the Green Business Summit will deliver compelling dialogue on sustainability, the role of the finance industry in encouraging green investments, and how policymakers in the Middle East can cultivate sustainable practices through regulatory frameworks and partnerships with the private sector.”

The Economist Events is hosting the Green Business Summit, which is sponsored by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, EAD, and co-sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

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