Arab bankers and representatives of central banks pledged at a forum they convened on 26-29 July 2018 in Hurghada, Egypt, to work together to develop a regulatory framework to encourage the Arab financial sector to actively contribute to financing sustainable development projects. The meeting, organized by Union of Arab Banks (UAB), in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt, was held under the topic: Green Banking- the Road to Sustainable Development. AFED presented to the meeting draft of its report on Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries, and held consultations on its findings, which were reflected in the recommendations. Here are the full recommendations of UAB Forum:
1. Urge central banks to start preparing a regulatory framework for banks operating in the Arab region to take into account the objectives of sustainable development and green banking while practicing various banking activities, with a specific timetable for implementation according to international best practices and standards.
2. Form a working group whose members are responsible for the green banking and sustainable development of their institutions and members of the Union of Arab Banks and the associations of local banks to meet periodically to discuss what has been achieved in the field of green banking and sustainable development, as well as identify challenges and share experiences and prepare strategies and future goals.
3. Adopt the goal of a shift towards green banking within Arab banks strategic objectives and establish an independent department for sustainable development in each bank.
4. Urge Arab banks to develop a training plan to raise awareness among employees about green banking and environmentally-friendly practices in order to encourage them to apply these practices.
5. Adopt a mechanism to develop and introduce green products within the Arab Bank's current portfolio, with emphasis on supporting green SMEs as part of the Bank's target groups.
6. Encourage Arab banks to support renewable energy projects and environmentally-friendly technologies, and to fully change lighting in all their branches to energy-saving lighting systems, and support the spread of solar-generated electricity systems and encourage institutions and individuals to shift to renewable energy through the provision of funding.
7. Urge the Arab banks to continue the efforts in the field of financial inclusion, due to its vital role in the transition to green banking and achieving sustainability.
8. Integrate the objectives and policies among banks and other stakeholders in such a way that contributes to achieving the goals of sustainable development 2030.