ABOUT THE TASKFORCE

The Global Islamic Finance SDG Taskforce is a unique collaboration between the public and private sectors spearheaded by the UKIFC and HM Treasury, which explores the role the Islamic finance industry can play in addressing this funding gap and to better understand the commercial opportunities the SDGs present for the sector.

With assets expected to reach US $3.8 trillion in 2022, Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial industry. Achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will take over US$5 trillion per year investment with the current financing gap standing at around $2.5 trillion per year.

The UN’s SDGs are the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all, addressing issues such as climate change, education and equality. Achieving the SDGs requires a coordinated global effort with Governments and private sector, including the financial services sector as a whole. Analysis indicates there is limited engagement by the global Islamic finance sector and this focused taskforce has been established by the UKIFC.

Find out more about the Islamic Finance and the SDGs

Find out more about the Global Islamic Finance SDG Taskforce

$3.8trn

 Global IF sector size

$2.5trn

Investment opportunity. (UNCTAD)

SDG17

Partnerships

TASKFORCE AIMS

The taskforce is primarily intended for global commercial Islamic financial institutions and other stakeholders are welcome to participate as appropriate. The taskforce is initially set to run until 2022 and, to facilitate an inclusive global approach, will meet twice a year in different jurisdictions.

The taskforce convenes to oversee working groups and to identify additional opportunities for development. Alongside global taskforce meetings there are monthly and fortnightly working group meetings.

Increase awareness, promote understanding and encourage adoption of the UN’s SDGs amongst Islamic financial institutions
Facilitate sharing of knowledge and experience amongst taskforce members
To identify what resources are required that will directly assist Islamic financial institutions to successfully engage with the SDGs

GLOBAL TASKFORCE MEETINGS

November 2021

At the Taskforce meeting in November 2021, held to coincide with the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, participants gathered in-person at Loch Lomond and virtually to discuss Islamic finance and the SDGs, and how faith-based finance can support climate action. Participants included Special Advisder to the UN Secretary General, Dr Ahmed Al-Meraikhi, Executive Secretary of UN-ESCWA, Dr Rola Dashti and Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP.

We heard updates on the UK Government’s commitment to the Islamic finance industry, the London Stock Exchange Group’s plans for green sukuk, the issuance of sovereign and retail green sukuk in Indonesia, as well as progress reports from the Education & Awareness and Pakistan Working Groups of the Taskforce, as well as comments from institutions including Wahed Invest, Gatehouse Bank and more.

[Clockwise from top left] Ross Priory, Rola Dashti (UN-ESCWA), IsDB video address and Loch Lomond

July 2021

At the Taskforce meeting in July 2021, participants from around the world gathered virtually to discuss Islamic finance and the SDGs. Dr Hayat Sindi, Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of IsDB emphasized the challenges in achieving the SDGs in the next nine years in Islamic countries and beyond. The Goals are at the heart of the IsDB’s strategy, which seeks to leverage the power of science and technology. Dr Sindi gave a number of examples of IsDB’s work in this area.

Following this, we heard updates on the Pakistan Working Group from GM Abbasi, Director of the Islamic Banking Division at the State Bank of Pakistan, on the Disclosure and Reporting Working Group from Andy Homer, Director of Communications at Gatehouse Bank and Natalie Jackson, Executive Manager at the Global Ethical Finance Initiative and lastly on the Education and Awareness Working from Omar Shaikh, Board Member at UKIFC. After the working group updates, the Taskforce saw contributions from representatives of UKIFC, The Securities Commission Malaysia, CIBAFI, BPMB, CIMB and the UK Government.

[Clockwise from top left] Dr. Hayat Sindi (Islamic Development Bank), GM Abbasi (State Bank of Pakistan), Andy Homer (Gatehouse Bank) and Rafe Haneef (CIMB) were among participants.

November 2020

Following on from the success of the inaugural Islamic Finance and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Taskforce meeting in July 2020, over 50 global Islamic Finance leaders including HE Dr. Reza Baqir (Governor, State Bank of Pakistan) and Dr. Hayat Sindi (Islamic Development Bank) who provided a welcome address on behalf of the IsDB President. At the meeting, the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan highlighted the regulatory framework the country has established for green finance and announced the set-up of a country level working group as part of the Taskforce, bringing together leading banks in Pakistan to encourage engagement with the SDGs. Updates from the recently established working groups on Disclosure and Reporting and Education and Awareness were presented by Andy Homer (Gatehouse Bank) and Omar Shaikh (UKIFC) respectively.

Dr. Hayat Sindi (Islamic Development Bank, left) and HE Dr. Reza Baqir (State Bank of Pakistan, right) and were among participants from Africa, Europe, the Gulf and South East Asia.

July 2020

The inaugural Islamic Finance and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Taskforce meeting took place virtually, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing together over 40 global Islamic finance leaders. The pioneering meeting, convened by the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) in partnership with the UK Government, explored the role Islamic finance can play in addressing the $2.5 trillion SDGs funding gap as part of the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

Islamic Development Bank President Bandar Hajjar welcomed the initiative calling for greater cooperation between the public and private sectors and to use the SDGs to inspire financial innovation.

WORKING GROUPS

Disclosures & Reporting

This working group provides a platform for relevant stakeholders to come together to share experiences with a view to developing a more consistent approach amongst Islamic financial institutions to disclosure. The initial scope is on UNEP FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB); other areas for reporting may be added by the working group members in due course.

Education & Awareness

This working group focuses on activities that increase awareness, promote understanding and encourage adoption of the UN’s SDGs amongst the global Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) and their related primary stakeholders

Pakistan

Pakistan was the first country to adopt SDGs 2030 agenda following a unanimous resolution of parliament. This Working Group provides a platform for relevant stakeholders to come together to share experiences with a view to promoting engagement and developing a consistent approach amongst financial institutions in Pakistan towards the SDGs.

JOIN THE TASKFORCE

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION

The taskforce will provide a platform for global Islamic financial institutions to come together to share knowledge, experiences and ideas that will drive positive engagement with the SDGs. We ask participants to put competitive tensions aside to work together with the aim of mobilising Islamic finance to create a better world for future generations. In so doing, within the global financial system, Islamic finance can play a role as a leading ethical finance solution.

Where appropriate we will invite leading conventional finance players to showcase how they are engaging with the SDGs.

To discuss participation in the taskforce please contact chris@ukifc.com

COUNTRY HOST

For the taskforce to be successful it requires representation and input from the core Islamic finance markets from across the globe. The taskforce provides a forum to support collective cross-border action and it will also help to define the sector’s role in addressing the pressing challenges facing people and the planet as set out in the Global Goals.

As the aims of the taskforce transcend geographical and political boundaries it is relevant for the meetings to be hosted in different regions. We welcome the UK Government’s support in hosting the inaugural session and encourage other governments or regulatory bodies to do the same.

If you are interested in hosting a taskforce meeting in your region please contact chris@ukifc.com

I am pleased we’re now a founding country partner and observer member of the new Islamic Finance SDG Taskforce. This Taskforce will bring together the global Islamic finance community so it can help us meet our international, environmental and sustainability objectives.” John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury

KNOWLEDGE HUB

Innovation in Islamic Finance:

Green Sukuk for SDGs

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) established a blueprint for addressing economic, social, governance, and environmental challenges – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is estimated that funds of up to US$7trn are required on an annual basis for initiatives aligned to the SDGs.

This report, commissioned in conjunction with UNDP Indonesia, explores the role of green sukuk in the context of climate change and the green economy. It highlights the potential of green sukuk to be used effectively by OIC member states and beyond, to finance NDC’s by attracting investment at scale to projects that reduce national greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

Reports

Part 1 of our Thought Leadership series, ‘Islamic Finance and the SDGs: Framing the Opportunity’ is available now. Click here to download.

The report provides an introduction to the SDGs within the context of Islamic finance. Future papers will provide a detailed analysis of interviews conducted with Shari’ah scholars and senior level Islamic finance practitioners to ascertain their views on the SDGs.

Part 2 of our Thought Leadership series, ‘Islamic Finance and the UN PRI’ is available now. Click here to download.

The report provides an analysis of responsible investing in the Islamic finance sector, assessing the level of engagement with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) amongst Islamic financial institutions and financial institutions in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states, and features case studies on selected Islamic finance institutions.

Part 3 of our Thought Leadership series, ‘Islamic Finance and the UN PRB’ is available now. Click here to download.

The report provides an analysis of responsible banking in the Islamic finance sector, assessing the level of engagement with the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) amongst banks in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states and analysing the approaches used by 9 Islamic finance signatories. It also features notes from interviews with Al Baraka Banking Group, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad, CIMB Group, Gatehouse Bank, Gulf International Bank (UK) and Jaiz Bank who have all shown notable leadership in responsible banking.

Part 4 of our Thought Leadership series, ‘Islamic Finance: Shariah and the SDGs’ is available now. Click here to download.

This report is the last part of a four-part thought leadership series delivered by the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) in partnership with the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC). It deliberates the relationship between Shariah and SDGs and highlights some of the key principles of Shariah which support the SDG agenda

Islamic Finance and the SDGs: Thought Leadership Summary is available now. Click here to download.

This report is a short summary of a four-part thought-leadership series on Islamic finance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) delivered by the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) in partnership with the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI). The series is intended to inspire Islamic finance institutions (IFIs) to embrace the SDGs. This report contains the key findings from each of the four reports.

Guidance Note for Islamic Finance Institutions reporting under the UN PRB is available now. Click here to download.

This guidance note addresses the specificities of Islamic financing modalities and providing common approaches for  Islamic finance institutions (IFIs) to showcase the inherent similarities between Islamic finance principles and theUN Principles for Responsible Banking(PRB)in the PRB Reporting and Self-Assessment Template

Resources

The UKIFC is a leading not-for-profit body committed to the promotion and enhancement of the global Islamic and ethical finance industries. A pioneer in advocating the role of Islamic finance in delivering positive social outcomes, the UKIFC has published thought leadership content on the SDGs and Tayyib as well as led the Edinburgh Finance Declaration – an interfaith shared values collaboration on ethical finance.

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change and, through the Path to COP26 campaign, are partnering with UKIFC on the SDG taskforce.