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Abu Dhabi bank NBAD to invest $10bn in sustainable businesses

Abu Dhabi bank NBAD to invest $10bn in sustainable businesses

The amount will be used to finance environmentally sustainable projects over the next 10 years

National Bank of Abu Dhabi has announced plans to lend, invest and facilitate funding worth $10bn over the next 10 years for environmentally sustainable businesses and projects.

The announcement came as Abu Dhabi began hosting the annual World Future Energy Summit.

The move marks the first such commitment from a Gulf Cooperation Council bank, NBAD said in a statement.

The lender established a dedicated sustainable business team in August 2015 to evaluate and create new financing products that will support the development of renewable energy.

The team will engage with key regulators, policy makers and industry players to capture market trends and promote partnership between the financial sector and environmentally sustainable businesses.

The $10bn commitment is the first initiative under the plan, the lender said.

NBAD’s group chief executive officer Alex Thursby said: “The world is heading towards a very significant funding gap for energy globally. This is particularly true across the West-East Corridor, the rapidly growing super-region that stretches from Africa through the Middle East to Asia – and filling it is going to be a big task.

“We believe that even in the current climate of low oil prices, the transition towards more renewable sources in the energy mix will continue because the underlying drivers are long term and strong. It is for this reason that we have made this commitment of $10bn today.”

A recent report by the bank identified a funding gap of $48 trillion required in the next 20 years to meet global energy demand, with renewables playing a critical role in the energy mix of the future.

Head of Sustainable Business Banking at NBAD Nathan Weatherstone said: “Our research has identified that there is approximately $640bn of investment required for renewable energy projects across the West-East Corridor. But sustainable business is wider than just renewables and includes activities like clean transportation, sustainable water, waste management and energy efficient real estate.

“The scale of the opportunity is significant and today we commit NBAD to an ambitious but much needed goal.”

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