The role of sustainable finance in the development of infrastructures in the Middle East was one of the topics discussed in the panel titled “The use of Islamic finance”, in which ACCIONA’s Economic-Financial and Sustainability Director José Ángel Tejero took part. The panel was held on January 19th this year within the framework of the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF).
“Green finance is a great opportunity for the region”, Mr. Tejero said in his presentation, “not just for the field of renewable energies but also for other infrastructure solutions”.
ACCIONA has had a strong presence in the Middle East since 2008, with projects in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman. The company has participated in emblematic projects such as the extension of the Dubai Metro or the construction of the Jebel Ali desalination plant in the United Arab Emirates, the construction and later extension of the Umm Al Houl desalination plant in Qatar, and six desalination and three wastewater treatment plants in Saudi Arabia.
The use of financial instruments such as green bonds and, in particular, of sustainable mechanisms that observe the principles of Islamic law (‘green sukuk’), were some of the elements covered by the panel as alternatives to finance projects in the region that also help to offset the effects of climate change.
In José Angel Tejero’s opinion, it is important that the best possible “regulation and standardization” conditions should be in place to clarify the criteria that allow a project to be considered “green”.
In this regard, he referred to the Taxonomy of the European Union as an example to follow in other regions to classify activities that have a positive impact and facilitate their analysis by investors.
He also highlighted ACCIONA’s role as a “pioneer in finance and sustainability” by merging the company’s Economic-Financial and Sustainability Departments, with the aim of applying a financing strategy aimed at providing the most efficient solutions in economic terms and creating a positive impact.
“Science shows that we are facing a real emergency. Time is running out and we have to act fast. At ACCIONA, we have been developing sustainable solutions for more than two decades and we are happy to see how the region is making rapid progress in this transformation of the economy in which we want to play a leading role,” he added.
Every year the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance forum brings together institutional investors, policy-makers, international bodies, financial institutions and project developers to share the latest advances in the field of sustainable finance, the aim being to increase the flow of capital to investments that will be sustainable in the long term.