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Member-led Session: Islamic Finance and Climate Change

May 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Worth more than $2.5 trillion, Islamic finance has the potential to fill the climate action funding gap with investments that are ethical and sustainable. So why is this resource still largely untapped?
Join the discussion, led by Greenpeace-MENA.




We are facing an unprecedented climate crisis and some of the most climate-impacted communities live in predominantly Muslim countries. The world is struggling to secure the necessary financial resources to combat climate change effectively, and of the key issues behind this critical funding shortfall is the limited range of funding sources and mechanisms available for climate action. While conventional financial instruments play an important role in supporting climate initiatives, there is a vast potential funding source that remains largely untapped: Islamic finance.

In the first of our new member-led sessions, Greenpeace-MENA will focus on the power of Islamic finance to catalyze the climate fight. Currently worth more than $2.5 trillion, the Islamic finance industry has gained prominence over the past decade and presents a unique set of ethical principles that could drive transformative change in climate finance. It prohibits investments in sectors considered “sinful” in Islam – such as alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and certain arms manufacturing. It also prohibits the charging of interest (riba) and the engagement in transactions involving uncertainty and gambling (gharar). These principles result in the creation of financial products and legal structures that specifically align to Islamic ethical and sustainable practices and have the potential to reshape climate finance by directing investments towards environmentally responsible initiatives while avoiding industries that are generally considered harmful to people and our planet.

But despite this potential, Islamic finance remains underutilized in efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. And that’s something Greenpeace-MENA, as part of the Ummah for Earth Alliance, is committed to changing. In this session, experts from Greenpeace and other organizations focused on climate action will look at ways we can unlock the power of Islamic finance and engage Islamic financial institutions, scholars, and stakeholders to redirect financial resources towards green solutions.

Join the discussion and find out how your organization can harness Islamic finance to further the cause of environmental protection and sustainability.






Omar Shaikh
Managing Director, Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI)
Omar is the Managing Director and Co-founder of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI). A chartered accountant by profession, he specializes in ethical/responsible finance, Islamic finance, and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services, has advised multiple governments and regulators on financial inclusion policy and for over 15 years has been a leading advocate for ethical and responsible finance. His background includes working with EY London, where he was former Head of Islamic finance and he launched the award-winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series, a platform that led to the inception of the Ethical Finance Hub and GEFI. Through his work he has established a number of initiatives, including the Ethical Finance Summit, the finance for nature project with UNDP creating innovative financing structures for the SDGs, and the interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration. Omar is based in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Dr. Hanaa Al Banna, PhD, Eng.
Executive Director, MENA Region, CSR Accreditation
Lecturer & Module Leader, Northumbria University
Dr. Hanaa Al Banna is an accomplished expert in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability, as well as a certified trainer and assessor. She currently serves as a lecturer and module leader at Northumbria University in London, England, while also holding the position of International Initiatives Manager at Global One and adjunct lecturer at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. With over 15 years of experience in international development, Hanaa has collaborated with various nonprofit organizations and international development entities. She holds a PhD in marketing, social media, and public relations from Cardiff Metropolitan University, complemented by a public relations professional diploma from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a Master’s degree in marketing. In September 2020, she joined CSR Accreditation UK as a global representative and partner. She also serves as a Board Member for CSR Accreditation UK and the Excellence and Entrepreneurship Center at Al al-Bayt University.


Tariq Al-Olaimy
Co-founder & Managing Director, 3BL Associates
Tariq is co-founder and Managing Director of 3BL Associates, a people + planet strategy consultancy and think-do tank established to accelerate global sustainable and regenerative development through collaboration. Tariq is among the first 100 certified biomimicry specialists in the world. He was named one of 10 Muslim men shaping the world by Mvslim.com and was the first person from the MENA region to be recognized by GreenBiz and the World Business Council as one of their “30 Under 30” leaders for breaking new ground in sustainability innovation. He took part in launching the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change in 2015. Currently, Tariq is on the advisory board of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and is based in Manama, Bahrain.


György Dallos
Senior Campaign Strategist, Global Climate & Energy, Greenpeace International
György has 20+ years of experience in finance campaigning. For the past 13 years he has been a Senior Campaign Strategist at the Global Climate & Energy Programme with Greenpeace International. His background includes work as a Climate Change Program Manager with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Senior Economist with the United Nations World Food Programme, and a Manager with the Boston Consulting Group. He holds a BS in computer science and mathematics from Eötvös Loránd University and received an MBA in Business Administration and Management from INSEAD. He is based in Luxembourg.


Questions? Please contact Walid Nagi, Director of Network and Relationships, at nagiw@arabfoundationsforum.org.

We look forward to having you join us,

The AFF Team


May 8
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm




Arab Foundations Forum
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