Banks in GCC must be serious about financing energy transition - HSBC

Banks in the GCC region need to demonstrate they are serious about supporting the energy transition market to help mitigate climate change, a top HSBC Bank official said at the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF).

They need to think about having the right assessments of climate risk and understand what clients are telling them about their energy transition needs. Banks must also share what they have learned with those in other regions to have a chance of success in financing energy transition, said Zoe Knight Group Head, HSBC Centre for Sustainable Finance, and Climate Change, MENAT, HSBC. 

Knight spoke at a panel session at Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF) about the challenges facing the institutions financing the energy transition market, which is part of global climate change mitigation efforts in reducing carbon emissions.  

“We have to share the ideas from here with the US, Europe and Asia. If we don’t do that with finance we have no chance of succeeding,” she said.

She told the audience: “We have to think about how we demonstrate that we are taking this seriously. By having the right assessment of climate risk, capturing the mitigation aspects.”

One of the things banks will be judged on is transparency, she added, and there is a need to demonstrate innovation in finance.

“We need to be serious about how to help the energy transition and how to scale renewables. We (the region) are supporting the rest of the world,” she said, adding that COP 28, which will be hosted in the UAE, will be a real opportunity to demonstrate that seriousness.

Lina Osman, head of sustainable finance, West, Standard Chartered, said: “The challenge with the energy transition, I feel, that we have a long way to go before we have understanding of how to do it, and scaling up is the next challenge.”

For Shargil Bashir, chief sustainability officer at FAB, opportunities exist in climate and energy transition technology and innovation, but a major challenge is sourcing talent.

“Talent within sustainability is something we really require, not only this year but in the coming decades,” he said.




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