Ahmed Al Qubaisi: “The Abu Dhabi Chamber is keen to advance the national efforts towards achieving net-zero, and to enable greater access to green financing sources.”
The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as part of its participation in the Conference of the Parties (COP28), announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with Vyzrd, an Australia based Climate and ESG intelligence firm. The partnership aims to create a comprehensive ecosystem that enables enterprises and SMEs to accelerate their efforts towards achieving their net zero and sustainability goals.
Vyzrd, which specializes in providing advanced generative AI enabled climate risk management solutions, will partner with the Chamber to build a strong ecosystem to accelerate the transition to net-zero, while balancing the overall business growth and resilience goals. Under this partnership, Vyzrd will provide analytics, decision-intelligence, net-zero transition management tools, risk management frameworks, and facilitate access to financial services.
With the aim to deliver immediate impact from the partnership, the Chamber announced the rollout of “5+5 Pilot Program”. In the coming weeks, the Chamber will nominate 5 SMEs and 5 corporations to benefit from the pilot program, with an initial investment valued of one million Dirhams.
In addition, the Abu Dhabi Chamber organized a panel discussion titled “SME Net-Zero Transition: Solutions for Scalable Impact” hosted at the Masdar Pavilion at the Conference of the Parties (COP 28), which is being held until the 12th of December in Expo City Dubai.
The panel discussion, which included a keynote speech by His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, witnessed the participation of a number of prominent experts from the business and finance world, who highlighted the importance of the contribution of SMEs in supporting global efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
During the discussion, the speakers exchanged their experiences and visions about a range of themes such as the effects of climate change on the performance of enterprises, green financing solutions, and environment-friendly energy sources available to the SME sector to take climate action to achieve their sustainable development goals. They also discussed the risks and challenges that may hinder enterprises from realizing their net-zero goals, the important responsibility they held towards enabling the SME sector’s transition, and the need of coordinated efforts to achieve climate neutrality while aligning with the national policy frameworks.
In his keynote speech, His Excellency Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi said: “COP28 is a beacon of hope and cooperation to unify global efforts for finding effective solutions and applications to limit climate change and mitigate its effects. The announcement of the launch of the “5+5 Pilot Program” and our strategic partnership with Vyzrd in this distinguished event emphasizes our strong commitment to strengthening the efforts of SMEs, and to supporting their net-zero journey. This reflects our efforts towards empowering the business community on all economic, investment, environmental, financial, and technological levels, given the effective role of SMEs in shaping the sustainable economic and environmental landscape. This is in line with the national efforts to accelerate our transition to climate neutrality.
"The Abu Dhabi Chamber is keen to advance the business sector, including SMEs, and amplify their contribution and cooperative efforts towards achieving net-zero goals. We aim to enhance the role of the business sector in reducing the effects of climate change, as well as enabling them to access green financing, incentives and initiatives available to them to support those efforts," His Excellency added.
During the panel discussion, which saw participation of First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar, Vyzrd and WIO Bank, His Excellency Fouad Darwish, Board Member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, highlighted the main barriers that SMEs face in their journey to net-zero, and how the barriers can be overcome by enhancing their efforts and achieving it through their projects or their operations. Darwish also focused on the solutions that motivate companies to commit to the net-zero transition agenda for SMEs.
Commenting on the strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Chamber, Sunil Rana, Founder & CEO of Vyzrd said, “We are deeply inspired and impressed by the Chamber’s commitment to achieving meaningful and transformative outcomes in the Net Zero transition for the business sector, particularly for SMEs. The leadership's progressive approach, encompassing all facets of transition – from capacity building and technology solutions to policy and advocacy - is distinctive and holistic. With our industry leading solutions in climate risk intelligence, Vyzrd sees a tremendous opportunity to empower and enable the Chamber, its members, and its partners to realise their net zero ambitions.”
At the conclusion of the panel discussion, an awards ceremony was held to celebrate the achievements of SMEs that are leading climate action in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.