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Jordan first Arab country to sign climate disclosure guidance agreement

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Sep 13,2022 - Last updated at Sep 13,2022

AMMAN — Jordan is the first country in the region to sign the climate disclosure guidance agreement, said an International Finance Corporation (IFC) official.

The agreement provides a competitive edge for Jordan, but also brings positive contributions to the business environment, according Mary Peschka, director of environment, social and governance at the IFC.

Her remarks came during a workshop titled “Shaping the frontier of sustainability, climate reporting and finance”, organised by the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) on Tuesday where the climate disclosure guidance agreement was signed between the ASE and the IFC.

Peschka stated that this not only provides a competitive edge for Jordan, but also brings positive contributions to the business environment.

“Sustainable finance has a role to play in addressing climate change,” she stated. 

She added that the demand for sustainable financial products is growing; investors are interested in providing capital to companies that have sustainable business practices and strategies. 

“We have a significant opportunity to unlock sustainable investment,” she added.

She noted that Jordan’s “climate-smart” investment potential is valued at nearly $23 billion.

Last year, the IFC invested $7.6 billion in climate finance, said Peschka. She noted these investments were in projects such as clean energy, sustainable cities, climate smart agriculture, energy efficiency, green finance and green buildings.

“Climate action failure and extreme weather are considered the most critical global threats,” Paschka added. 

The increased frequency and severity of drought, contributing to water scarcity and dire economic consequences, is an example of the daily ramifications the world is experiencing due to climate change, she said.  

She stated that the IFC is on the lookout for companies engaged in sustainable business.

“This event is an effort to enhance the culture of sustainability reporting, including climate change reporting,” Mazin Wathaifi, CEO of the ASE, said during his opening remarks. 

He added that in 2023 all 20 ASE-listed companies will issue sustainability reports.

“We have also joined the low carbon index. This is a recognition that our companies are not lagging behind in this regard,” he added. 

He stated that this is an effort to implement and comply with international standards and practices with the aim to enhance the investment climate in the local market and in the economy. Also, it intends to enhance attractiveness of the national companies for both local and international investors.

“Climate reporting has become one of the most important topics in business,” said Wathaifi. 

“Sustainability reports are essential for the success of companies. It’s no longer an option,” he added. 

He added that profit is no longer making money at any cost. “Successful companies need to find balance between profits and ethics,” said Wathaifi. 

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