Earlier this month, Scotland hosted the Ethical Finance Summit organised by the Global
Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) which organises and coordinates a series of
programmes promoting finance for positive change and bringing together leaders in
Islamic and conventional finance from around the world.
The summit aimed to “help define and shape the transition to a sustainable financial
system where finance delivers positive change”. With the Bank of England recognising
climate change as a key financial risk and growing recognition of sustainable investment
and finance, both conventional and Islamic finance practitioners have started to pay
attention to not only the economic returns but the social impact of their investment and
Key partners of the summit included the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), the Scottish Government and the Bank of Scotland. Hosted in the capital of
Scotland, Edinburgh, the summit attracted over 400 finance practitioners from across
the globe discussing a range of topics including ethical investing, Islamic finance,
impact and sustainable finance.
Keynote speaker at the event, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, who took the
summit as an opportunity to introduce the ‘Green Investment Portfolio’, a new
investment programme, estimated to be worth £3 billion over a three-year period
providing capital to local authorities and third sector organisation committed developing
projects to help the country achieve a net-zero economy by 2045.
The First Minister stating, “The Green Investment Portfolio supports our ethical finance
ambitions by matching projects which are reducing emissions with investors so we can
fully maximize their potential and promote them globally.
This could include projects that are making buildings more energy efficient, reducing
industrial emissions or even restoring peatlands.”
Scotland’s ambitious Green Investment Portfolio is aligned with the UK’s commitment
to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and it was only May of this year the UK
parliament declared a climate change emergency.’ Expect green investment strategies
including green bonds and sukuk to get more attention in the coming months.