As the COP28 climate summit unfolds,
I interview Hasan Raza, Group CEO of Ethos Ventures, as part of Impact A.M. ongoing coverage of their journey to the UN Habitat’s World Cities Day in Istanbul and beyond in reflection of COP28’s launch this week. The Group CEO offers a distinct and insightful perspective on the event’s critical first days. His unique vantage point, rooted in Ethos Ventures’ commitment to ethical financing and sustainable urban development, provides an experienced understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented at this global gathering.
In this interview, Raza delves into the significant pledges made towards the loss and damage fund, the evolving dynamics between developed and developing nations, and the broader implications for sustainable finance.
Q: As COP28 kicks off with significant pledges towards the loss and damage fund, how do you view these developments, especially in the context of Ethos Ventures?
A: COP28 marks a pivotal moment in our global dialogue on the environment. The pledges made, amounting to $260 million, signify a collective recognition of the urgent need to address climate-related damages. At Ethos Ventures, we see this as a reaffirmation of our core belief: the necessity of ethical financing in driving sustainable change. It’s not just about capital; it’s about responsible capital that acknowledges and addresses the vulnerabilities exacerbated by climate change.
Q: With the UAE’s $100 million pledge and similar contributions from other nations, how do you perceive the evolving dynamics between developed and developing countries?
A: The responsibility for climate action is universal and transcends geographical and economic boundaries. We advocate for a collaborative approach, where both private capital and public investment play integral roles.
We face global challenges that require global collaboration and solutions. It’s why the UAE’s contribution, added to Germany, the UK, Japan, and the US’s is so crucial.
Q: The first day of COP28 avoided major conflicts over the agenda. What’s your take on the EU’s decision to drop its push for aligning financial flows with the Paris Agreement goals?
A: The EU’s decision to drop its push, leading to a harmonious start at COP28, is a strategic move towards greater consensus., It raises a critical question about the alignment of financial flows of capital with climate and other ethical goals. In the realm of ethical financing, this alignment is not just a policy preference but a necessity.
Q: With the ambitious goal of reducing emissions by nearly 50% this decade, how crucial is the role of entities like Ethos Ventures?
A: The goal to slash emissions by nearly 50% within this decade is ambitious yet essential. We would seek to play a role in this shared endeavour by championing and investing in sustainable urban solutions. Our commitment extends beyond financial contributions; we aim to bridge the gap between intent and action, facilitating the transition to a more sustainable, equitable future. We believe in partnering with entities that share our vision of ethical financing and inclusive development.
Q: Reflecting on Simon Stiell’s quote about the decline of the fossil fuel era, how does Ethos Ventures align with this vision?
A: It is clear that our strategy has to involve actively investing in renewable energy and supporting initiatives that promote energy efficiency and sustainability. Sustainable investments with the broader objective of achieving global net zero goals is important to us and we are conscious that our actions today shape the legacy we leave for future generations.
The first day of COP28 has set a tone of urgency and collective responsibility. For Ethos Ventures, it reinforces our commitment to ethical financing as a catalyst for sustainable development. We are poised to continue playing a vital role in shaping a future where financial decisions are intrinsically linked to environmental stewardship and social equity.