Vice President Zamir Iqbal Addresses MENA Climate

Dubai, UAE, 30 March  2022 – From 28- 31 March 2022, the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates hosted the first-ever dialogue on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)Climate Week, during which  the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in collaboration with several international development and climate action partners co-hosted several major side events.

Representing the IsDB at the events, , Dr. Zamir Iqbal, Vice President for Finance  addressed a side event by the Climate Investment Funds on mobilizing the capital markets for climate action where he explained how the Bank established a climate change policy back in 2019 with four objectives namely: mainstreaming climate action for member countries into IsDB activities, promoting resilience to climate change, supporting the transition into green economies, and leveraging resources for climate action.

“We devised a 5-year climate action program – 2020-2025 - setting up a climate finance target of 35 percent of total commitments by 2025. I am very pleased to share with you that in 2021, thirty percent of IsDB’s total approvals were committed to climate action including adaptation and mitigation activities,” the IsDB Vice President elaborated.

Dr. Zamir Iqbal also shared some highlights on IsDB’s successful journey toward becoming a major green Sukuk issuer at the global level referring to maintaining a genuine commitment, demonstrating the deployment of the funds, and inclusion of ESG (what does this mean?) components in operations, as the key prerequisites of the journey.

On the sidelines of the weeklong event, the IsDB Vice President also held separate bilateral meetings with high ranking delegations from Egypt and Morocco where the Bank’s role in supporting the upcoming COP27 as well as major climate action related projects were discussed.

The week-long mega event in Dubai provided an avenue to engage regional stakeholders on efforts taken to integrate climate action into economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a cumulative effort by IsDB’s Global Practice & Partnership Directorate’s Resilience and Social Development Department (RSD), Regional Cooperation and Integration Department (RCI), and Economic and Social Infrastructure Department (ESID), as well as the Treasury Complex which saw the holding of several major affiliated and side events - in collaboration with the Bank’s global and regional development partners - on several themes including:  

  • Climate mainstreaming for a green economic recovery in the Arab Region  
  • Nature-Based Solutions and Nature-Derived Solutions for Climate Change
  • Adaptation and Mitigation in MENA 
  • Promoting South-South Cooperation in Climate Action 
  • The Role of Sustainable Finance in Transition to a Green Resilient Future 
  • The Green Finance Facilities Ecosystem: a US$ 3 Trillion Opportunity for Africa  
  • Sustainable Transport Supporting COVID-19 Recovery Strategies in MENA 
  • Integrated Water-Security in MENA: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Planning and Implementing Long Term Strategies for Sustainable and Inclusive Development
  • Building the Future of Mobility, the shift to sustainable, low and zero emissions transport
  • Scaling up climate risk management and innovative financing for locally-led adaptation
  • Innovations and role of enterprises in the transition of the energy sector in the MENA region
  • Transformative Climate Action through Digitalization
  • The role of Sustainable Finance Market in Transition to a Green, Robust, and Resilient Post-COVID Future

The MENA Climate Week 2022 was the first of its kind in the region and was meant to help build momentum on climate action in the region following the adoption of the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact and ahead of COP27 scheduled to be held in the Arab Republic of Egypt, later in 2022. 


It was hosted by UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), in collaboration with UN Climate Change, UNDP, UN Environment Program, and World Bank Group. Its regional partners were The Arab League, The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).