The Politics of Change and Operating Within the ‘Planetary Playing Field’ High on Agenda at Green Business Summit 2018


-Renowned experts to discuss how regional policymakers can apply lessons learnt across the globe to their country’s sustainability plans
-The challenges and opportunities in the global effort to protect the environment to be examined during special panel discussions

The first ever Green Business Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 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 April 17th, 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.

His Excellency Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, the UAEs 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.

During the session, the panellists will discuss how policymakers can cultivate sustainable practices through regulatory frameworks and partnerships with the private sector that encourage environmental innovation. Achieving sustainable development on a global scale will require policymakers, businesses and consumers to shift towards sustainable practices, products and services.

The financial industry is well positioned to become a driver of this shift towards green growth, and Eklavya Sareen, HSBC’s MENAT 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. The panellists will highlight how financial institutions and markets can collaborate with governments and international associations, to improve financial flows to environmental innovators and adopters.

Her Excellency 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. Stakeholders have an important role to play in helping us draw up the regulatory framework needed to accommodate a more diverse economy with reduced demands on natural resources as proposed by the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy.”

She added: “With the diversification of Abu Dhabi, we’ve observed a major increase in the number and types of industries that the emirate is now welcoming, so it’s very important that we really understand and engage them in this process. 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, policy makers, investors and business leaders, enhancing the position of Abu Dhabi as a green hub.”

His Excellency Kaleefa Salem Al Mansouri, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development (DED), emphasized 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.

He also said that this Summit provides a great opportunity to take advantage of the experiences of governments, policymakers, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics and investors in order to exchange expertise and strategies on sustainable economic development, particularly environmental investment.

Gregg Carlstrom, Middle East correspondent for The Economist, said: “We are delighted to be hosting such a diverse range of internationally-recognized 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. We look forward to welcoming attendees in Abu Dhabi and are excited about the significant role it will play in the future environmental landscape of the region.”

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

The Summit will run from 8:00am to 5:30pm at the Rosewood Hotel, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. For further information on the Green Business Summit 2018 and for registration visit:

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