The UfM Secretariat, with the support of the German Development Cooperation and in collaboration with Climate & Company, a leading Sustainable Finance Think Tank in Germany, organised a Workshop on Sustainable Investment in Madrid from May 12 to 14, 2024.

The event provided a unique platform for prominent experts and stakeholders from the region to present and discuss policy measures and mechanisms aimed at enhancing investment sustainability. Key focus areas included green taxonomies and ESG disclosure regulations, and their implications for UfM countries.

Abdelkader El Khissassi, UfM Deputy Secretary General, inaugurated the Workshop, highlighting its alignment with the UfM’s commitment to promoting sustainable investment to address environmental and socioeconomic concerns in the region.

Alicia Figueroa, Advisor in the GIZ project “UfM Hub for Jobs, Trade, and Investment”, reiterated the German Development Cooperation’s support for UfM initiatives towards a green and inclusive transition in the Mediterranean region.

Ms. Helena Viñes Fiestas, Chair of the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance, emphasised the crucial role of sustainable finance in facilitating the green transition, underscoring the EU green taxonomy’s significance in the EU’s roadmap towards green finance.

The subsequent workshops, moderated by Climate & Company representatives, explored:
• The importance of clear and accessible information in sustainable finance, focusing on how green taxonomies and ESG disclosures can drive investments, trade, and green job creation in the Mediterranean.
• The latest developments in global taxonomies and their implications for the Mediterranean region, examining their potential to drive economic growth and sustainability.
• Key sustainability reporting standards, highlighting the evolution of voluntary and mandatory disclosure standards internationally.

An interactive session followed, where participants discussed ESG disclosures and sustainable finance taxonomies in smaller groups, aiming to address implementation challenges and opportunities in the Mediterranean context.

On the second day, Climate & Company provided insights into ESG data usage and practical implementation through technological solutions. Additionally, Sygris, a technology provider, presented sustainability software for digitising non-financial business data and processes, tailored to ESG needs.

Participants reflected on the workshop’s insights, offering ideas for future UfM efforts in sustainable finance in the Mediterranean region, aligning with priority areas identified by UfM structures, including relevant Regional Platforms.

Said Charna, Senior Advisor at the UfM Economic Development and Employment Division, concluded the event by affirming that the thoughtful discussions would shape future UfM work, fostering sustainable and inclusive economic development.