COP28 Finance Day & UAE Unsustainable Financial Investments

COP28 Finance Day & UAE Unsustainable Financial Investments

Welcome to the introduction of COP28 Finance Day, where global leaders and financial experts converge to address the pressing issue of unsustainable financial investments, with a particular focus on the UAE. COP28 Finance Day is a pivotal event within the larger framework of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28)

As the world grapples with the urgent need to transition toward a sustainable future, examining the role of financial institutions and investments is imperative. This event aims to shed light on the UAE’s unsustainable financial investments, exploring strategies for redirecting capital towards environmentally friendly and socially responsible projects. 

COP28 Finance Day

Climate Finance Day, known as the COP28 Finance Day, is an important event. Its primary goal is to unite the global financial sector in the battle against climate change and highlight groundbreaking solutions offered by both public and private market participants.

The inaugural edition of 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters was themed “Shift the trillions.” It kick-started the mobilization of the financial industry leading up to COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The following year, the second Climate Finance Day was hosted in Casablanca, strategically timed before COP22, with a specific focus on advancing initiatives in Africa.

In 2017, the third edition aimed at accelerating actions and commitments, coinciding with the One Planet Summit, commemorating the Paris Agreement’s second anniversary.

Building upon the resounding success of the initial three editions, this annual gathering in Paris serves as a crucial forum to evaluate significant accomplishments and showcase the most innovative solutions concerning green finance and Green Energy. It serves as a rendezvous point for key stakeholders to reflect on progress and further explore ways to enhance sustainable financial practices.

The COP28 Finance Day is a momentous occasion where finance and climate intersect. It emphasizes the urgency of addressing climate change and recognizes the vital role of the financial sector in driving meaningful action. This event strives to create a path towards a sustainable and climate-resilient future by facilitating collaboration, knowledge sharing, and highlighting pioneering approaches.

Understanding Ethical Finance

Ethical finance encompasses the integration of ethical principles into financial decision-making. This step takes into account the social, environmental, and governance impacts of economic decisions, investments, and financial returns. In preparation for COP28, ethical finance entails integrating ethical and social considerations into the process of making financial decisions concerning climate change. This includes supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy, investing in renewable energy and clean technologies, and fostering sustainable infrastructure development.

Unsustainable Investments in the UAE

One of the key concerns surrounding the UAE’s commitment to addressing climate change lies in its investments, particularly in the oil and gas sector. As a major oil producer heavily reliant on fossil fuels, the UAE’s investments may undermine its climate change objectives. Let’s examine some instances of UAE’s unsustainable investments:

  • Dubai’s Palm Island development: The financing of upcoming waterfront projects worth $4.6 billion has raised eyebrows due to the environmental pressure imposed by such artificial island investments
  • ADNOC’s investments: Since 2016, ADNOC has secured over $64.5 billion in investments and profited from asset transactions and initial public offerings (IPOs). However, these investments predominantly pertain to the oil and gas sector
  • Tourism industry investments: The UAE aims to generate $123 billion annually from tourism by 2031, with an expected investment of $40 billion for tourism projects. Unfortunately, tourism contributes significantly to global warming due to carbon dioxide emissions from travel
  • Renewable energy investments: While the UAE has made progress in developing renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, its investments in this sector remain relatively low compared to oil and gas. Consequently, the UAE’s renewable energy capacity remains minuscule in proportion to its overall energy mix


Despite some steps towards promoting ethical finance and sustainable investments, the UAE’s heavy reliance on oil and gas remains a significant hurdle in achieving its Climate Finance goals. As the host of COP28, the UAE has an opportunity to showcase its commitment to climate action. However, for a sustainable future, the UAE must significantly increase its investments in renewable energy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Only by aligning its financial decisions with the goals of the Paris Agreement can the UAE pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future.