At COP28 on 6th December 2023, leaders from the finance sector HSBC, Emirates NBD and Emirates Green Building Council converged to discuss the challenges and opportunities of green financing for the built environment.
The UAE Government’s proactive measures, including the establishment of Green Financing Funds, and embedding sustainability into their National Agenda, indicate a strong commitment to the UAE Green Agenda 2030.
Initiatives have included the establishment of green financing, such as the Dubai Green Fund and setting regulations similar to those such as BREEAM, LEED, and other certifications as a guide to building confidence in the finance sector with regard to projects.
Current Challenges and Opportunities:
Commercial Environment: The lack of standardization within the industry is a challenge, but efforts are underway for scaling and standardizing. Definitions of “Green Buildings” need clarity, and maintaining updated asset registers is vital for determining green status.
Public-Private Partnerships: Collaboration is essential to create green neighbourhoods, encouraging mixed-use developments that benefit the broader community. Dubai leads globally in green buildings, reflecting climate considerations and efficiency imperatives.Whilst the Green Building Regulations of Ras Al Khaimah has established Barjeel, mandatory framework for buildings.
Residential Sector: Standards in the residential sector need enhancement. To incentivize green purchases without passing on additional costs to consumers, rebates, “Green Mortgages,” and retrofit discounts are offered. Green finance options for existing dwellings, such as solar panel installations, contribute to raising standards.
Top tips for Securing Green Loans:
- Specialised Preparation: Involving a specialist company for comprehensive materials, including an innovative business plan, is crucial.
- Advantages of Retrofits: Green loans for retrofits offer advantages, with potential savings ranging from 30% to 40%.
- Certification Standards: Banks prioritize projects adhering to top two-tier certification standards to avoid supporting greenwashing. Minimum certification standards are deemed insufficient.
UAE’s Path Forward:
- Collaboration and Partnerships: Public-private partnerships are essential to meet industry targets and foster sustainable growth.
- Nationwide Standardization: Achieving nationwide standardization is paramount to sustaining green financing initiatives.
- Banks’ Role in Emission Mitigation: Recognizing their role in mitigating scope three emissions, banks prioritize supporting clients’ sustainability objectives through green financing and access to accurate.
As the UAE strides towards achieving its sustainability targets, green financing emerges as a pivotal tool, with collaboration, standardization, and innovative approaches paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient built environment.
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