Event Analysis Middle East & Africa

Future Sustainability Forum 2023: Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future

Dubai, a city known for its grandeur and innovation, has taken centre stage in the global sustainability movement with the Future Sustainability Forum 2023. Organised by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) , the event is a catalyst for change and a beacon of hope in the face of climate change.

The inaugural forum, which marks the ‘Year of Sustainability’ in the UAE, took place in Dubai on 4 to 5  October 2023

In his opening speech, H.E. Essa Kazim, the Governor of DIFC, highlighted the Dubai Clean Energy Start initiative as a key strategy for the region. This initiative places a strong emphasis on renewable energy adoption, water rationing, waste management, and sustainable urban development. These efforts exemplify the nation’s practical approach to addressing environmental challenges and ensuring sustainable food sources.

Kazim acknowledged the unprecedented global challenges the world is currently facing, with a focus on combatting climate change. As the leading global financial center, DIFC is dedicated to fast-tracking progress and promoting ethical financial practices. He emphasised the importance of aligning financial activities with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Kazim also discussed the significance of sustainability as a driving force behind the Dubai conference, highlighting the importance of a productive economy and the role of initiatives in improving lives and finance. He praised the efforts of the finance initiative in bridging the gap between policy and practice and encouraged continued investment in sustainable projects.

Day One

The day kicked off with a focus on ‘the path to making Dubai a global sustainable finance hub’. It set the stage for discussions on sustainability in the financial sector.

The agenda then delved into ‘Navigating the Landscape of Sustainable and Islamic Finance’. highlighting the integration of ethical financial practices. ‘Integrating ESG into Decision-Making’ shed light on the incorporation of environmental, social, and governance criteria into investment decisions.

Fabulous informative panel discussions, followed by a much-needed networking break to foster connections among participants.

‘Sustainable Finance Accessibility to Climate Vulnerable Countries’ addressed the importance of extending sustainable finance solutions to vulnerable nations, while ‘Startups Driving Sustainable Innovation’ showcased the role of innovative startups in driving sustainability.

‘Mobilising Finance for Climate Action: Looking Ahead to COP28’ emphasised the urgency of climate action, followed by ‘Empowering Sustainability Through Digital Transformation’ and ‘Innovation & Sustainable Landmarks’ sessions.

Participants enjoyed a networking lunch before exploring ‘The Evolution of ESG in Venture Capital’ and ‘Understanding ESG Regulations and avoiding Greenwashing’ through insightful panel discussions.

The day continued with discussions on ‘Sustainable Finance Disclosure, Reporting, and Tech Applications’ and ‘Harnessing the Power of Private Finance for Sustainability’.

Day Two

The day commenced with the welcome address setting the tone by underlining sustainability’s importance in the UAE’s future vision.

Following this, the first session tackled ‘Nature-based solutions’ crucial role in achieving net-zero emissions’, delving into innovative climate change approaches. Subsequently, a discussion centered on ‘Setting Credible Net-Zero Targets’.

Experts deepened these topics in a thought-provoking exchange sharing their insights. The day’s discussions were punctuated by a coffee break, fostering idea exchange among participants.

The event continued with explorations of the ‘Transformational Climate Finance Solution Initiative’ and ‘ESG Reporting: Best Practices and Common Pitfalls’.

‘Innovations for Transparency: Disruptive Technology in the Carbon Offsetting Space’ showcased cutting-edge solutions. Concurrently, ‘Harnessing the Power of Renewables: A Bright Future Amidst Complexities’ addressed renewable energy’s intricacies.

A second panel discussion offered further insights. The morning concluded with a networking luncheon fostering connections in a relaxed atmosphere.

In the afternoon, discussions probed ‘The future of cities: solving the decarbonisation challenge’ and ‘Understanding Carbon Markets” via engaging panel discussions.

‘Financing Emission Reduction Projects: Accelerating the transition to a sustainable future’ highlighted practical strategies, followed by another networking break.

‘Climate Risk Integration into Financial Planning’ and the final ‘Panel Discussion” on ‘Accelerating Sustainability Transformation Of Organisations: Capacity And Culture’ concluded the day, leaving attendees inspired and informed about the journey toward a sustainable future.


  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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