Remodeling Sustainable Finances, Goal of TechSprint at COP28 UAE

In an innovative collaboration, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the presidency of COP28, and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) joined forces to select the winners of the COP28 UAE TechSprint, a major initiative aimed at accelerating innovation in sustainable finance and addressing climate change head-on.

Under the presidency of COP28 in the UAE, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE), the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH), and the Emirates Institute for Financial Studies (EIF) came together to launch COP28 UAE TechSprint, a pioneering initiative that brought innovators from around the world to propel sustainable finance into a new era. Its purpose: to accelerate climate action by integrating advanced AI, blockchain, and IoT technologies and sensors into sustainable finance.

The call addressed specific approaches to three issues. The first, Artificial Intelligence and its use in the automation and wider adoption of standards in sustainable finance. Second, blockchain technology, with the intention of ensuring data integrity in sustainable finance. And finally, the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technologies to enhance data collection in these sustainable finances.

With 126 proposals generated in 31 countries worldwide, and with a preselection of 15 prototypes to develop transformative technological solutions in sustainable finance, the winners of this COP28 TechSprint were the companies Intensel from Hong Kong, ZERO13 from the United Kingdom, and Evercomm from Singapore, whose projects address some of the most pressing challenges in expanding sustainable finances.

Revealing Solutions, a Glimpse into the Future

Intensel presented a climate risk analysis platform that goes beyond the norm. Their proposal is to leverage AI, along with satellite imagery and climate and financial models, to create a tool capable of measuring and translating climate hazards into financial risks at the level of granular assets.

In the field of blockchain technology, the triumph went to ZERO13, thanks to a revolutionary platform that facilitates the issuance, trading, clearing, and settlement of carbon credits linked to tangible assets of environmental, social, and corporate (ESG) governance. The project emphasizes interoperability between multiple blockchains and application programming interfaces (APIs) that add a layer of transparency to carbon credit transactions.

Finally, and associated with solutions from IoT and sensor technology, Evercomm was awarded thanks to its project, which introduces a verification and disclosure system for digital emissions driven by IoT that can change the game. An innovative proposal that supports industrial emission reduction strategies, ensuring compliance and encouraging sustainability-linked financing.

TechSprint, Catalyst for Change

COP28 highlighted the crucial integration of finance with technology and innovation, emphasizing the mobilization of financial resources and innovative financing mechanisms to combat climate change. This TechSprint left as a gratifying experience the presence of a diverse range of participants and proposals, reflecting the creative potential to use these emerging technologies, AI, blockchain, and IoT, and their ability to drive progress in climate action and scale sustainable finance.

At the grand COP28 event, as sustainable finance took center stage in global discussions, this TechSprint became a witness to a transformative surge catalyzed by climate promises, international sustainability standards, and growing demands for transparency.

The TechSprint experience yields basic but open conclusions about the future and promising use of these technologies. On the one hand, the ability of AI to understand and provide information from massive amounts of data, allowing for improved disclosure of sustainability information. On the other, blockchain, ensuring the integrity and transparency of data, preventing greenwashing. And finally, IoT, producing critical sensor telemetry for AI-driven learning systems, allowing for real-time monitoring and reporting of sustainability metrics.

AI, Blockchain, and IoT, Driving Force. A Beacon of Innovation

As a conclusion to the COP28 UAE TechSprint exercise, it must be said that it leaves a lasting legacy. Beyond recognizing outstanding technological solutions, it emphasizes the importance of collaboration, innovation, and a diverse ecosystem to address global challenges. Firstly, with the participation of the financial sector, driven by the support of global players, it is undergoing a significant shift toward sustainability. This means that the demands for transparency and innovative, responsible solutions are reshaping the requirements of stakeholders and the disclosure of sustainability information.

The event showed how emerging technologies can be creatively leveraged to scale sustainable finance, aligning economic interests with environmental and social well-being. Participants demonstrated that technology, when used with a purpose, can be a powerful force for positive change in this global struggle. It became clear that ecological, social, and sustainability-linked financial instruments are on the rise, highlighting, along with the contributions of other stakeholders, the financial sector’s commitment to addressing climate change.

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