Sustainability Forum Middle East Launches Advisory Committee of Senior Business Leaders and Sustainability Experts

Manama – 27, 2023 – Sustainability Forum Middle East today announced the launch of an Advisory Committee of senior business leaders and sustainability experts to guide the development of the Forum’s annual calendar of regional decarbonisation focused events following the success of its inaugural edition, which took place in the Kingdom of Bahrain on 12 January 2023 with the next edition set take place on 9 January 2024  – both under the patronage of Minister of Oil and Environment, Special Envoy for Climate Affairs, Kingdom of Bahrain, H.E. Dr. Mohamed bin Mubarak bin Daina.

Joining the Forum’s Advisory Board are senior representatives from its 2023 and 2024 partners and other organisations committed to climate action. They include: Abdullah Saeed Al Jubran, Executive Vice President of ACWA Power, Ian McCallum, Chief Sustainability Officer at Bank ABC, Jessica Robinson, MENA Sustainable Finance Leader of EY-Parthenon, Kal Subramanian, Head of Markets, Director, Advisory services – ESG, People & Change management services of KPMG, Bahrain, Eng. Layla Sabeel, Director of climate change and sustainable development of Supreme Council of Environment, Kingdom of Bahrain, Laila Danesh, Managing Director of FinMark Communications, Okan Ugurlu, Climate Change Expert of Directorate of Climate Change, Turkiye, Raed Albasseet, Group Chief Environment and Sustainability Officer of Red Sea Global, Riham El Gizy, Chief Executive Officer of Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Company, and Venetia Bell, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of Gulf International Bank.

Advisory Committee members will lend their expertise to the development of the 2024 Forum focusing on “Achieving Net Zero – Pathways to Accelerating Implementation” where again,more than 500 senior decision makers and sustainability leaders from the region as well as international climate experts will gather to examine global and regional net-zero commitments and how to facilitate the necessary actions on the part of the private sector to achieve carbon neutrality.

Committee members will also support the Forum’s Decarbonisation Roundtable Series, a number of smaller high-level gatherings being held across the region on specific topics of importance. The first of the series was recently held in May 2023 in Manama, where a group of sustainability, energy and financial experts from regional governments and the private sector addressed the importance and development of global and regional “Carbon Markets – Accelerating and Funding the Road to Net-Zero”. The next event in the series will be held in Riyadh in September 2023 taking an in-depth look at “Mobility Transformation and Pathways to Net Zero”.

Commenting, Ms. Laila Danesh, Managing Director at FinMark Communications, the Forum’s Founder and Organiser, said, “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our Advisory Committee. This very distinguished group of business leaders and sustainability experts have demonstrated significant commitment to national, regional and global sustainability goals and whose organisations are leading by example. We’re very grateful for their time and guidance and look forward to creating a series of events in the coming year that will raise awareness and help accelerate climate action on the part of businesses across the region.”

Sustainability Forum Middle East has been established as a dedicated platform for supporting regional decarbonisation initiatives and commitments with an emphasis on awareness building and education for the private sector and the facilitation of engagement and collaboration between business and government to support the realisation of the net-zero ambitions of MENA countries.

It has been strategically timed to coincide with the hosting of two conservative UN Climate Change Conferences (COP) in the region, with COP27 having been recently held in November 2022 in Egypt and COP28 set to held in November 2023 in the UAE, shining an unprecedented spotlight on the region and its important role in the global transition to net zero.

The Forum and the Roundtable Series prioritise opportunities for knowledge sharing and hands-on learning, which aim to encourage and support businesses to develop effective strategies and practical plans for launching their net-zero journeys and the decarbonisation of their business models.

For more information on how to support and take part, please contact [email protected].

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