Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, climate pioneer for the Egyptian presidency of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP27) and the United Nations Special Envoy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, confirmed that some surveys reported that environmental, social and corporate governance standards gained more attention in the Arab region with Egypt hosting and the Emirates for the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth conferences of the parties.
This came during his participation in a seminar organized by the Central Bank of Bahrain in cooperation with the Bahraini Ministry of Sustainable Development with financial institutions on standards of environmental, social and governance practices, and finding innovative financing mechanisms that contribute to accelerating the achievement of sustainable development goals, with the participation of Noor Ali Al-Khalif, Bahraini Minister of Sustainable Development. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Bahraini Central Bank, and a number of officials and representatives of banks and financial institutions.
Strong and clear standards of environmental practices
Mohieldin said that Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have made great strides to set strong and clear standards for environmental, social and corporate governance practices, explaining that the application of these standards is witnessing growth and development in a number of countries in the region.
Mohieldin explained that the sustainable development goals for governments are integrated with the standards of environmental, social and governance practices for companies, stressing the need for compatibility between sustainable development goals and standards for environmental, social and governance practices, and for both to take parallel paths.
Clear organizational codes
Mohieldin pointed out the importance of setting clear regulatory standards and codes for environmental, social and corporate governance practices, given their importance in driving economic growth, improving social conditions, and implementing environmental and climate activities.
Mohieldin noted, in this regard, the importance of the report issued by the independent group of high-level experts that was formed under the guidance of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, which set clear standards for the environmental and social practices of companies with the aim of reducing the phenomenon of greenwashing, and also referred to the standards and codes Regulatory standards issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) during the twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties in Sharm El-Sheikh, as well as standards approved by the International Organization of Securities Commissions that regulate the work of more than 95% of the financial markets worldwide.
Mohieldin stated that there is a wide debate about the role of companies and the business sector in societies, and whether their main goal is to achieve profits or contribute to environmental and community work, explaining that the two goals are complementary and do not conflict as the contributions of companies and the business sector in environmental and community work help to maximize returns. and earnings.
He added that there is another controversy regarding the standards of environmental practices for companies and limiting them to emissions mitigation activities, stressing the importance of adopting a comprehensive approach that combines all dimensions of environmental and climate action, including activities to adapt to climate change and deal with losses and damages resulting from it.