From Burden to Beacon: The ESG dilemma in the Middle East

  • Date: 16-Jan-2024
  • Source: Zawya
  • Sector:Oil & Gas
  • Country:UAE
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From Burden to Beacon: The ESG dilemma in the Middle East

From the glistening towers of Dubai to the majestic souks of Oman, a question echoes across the Arabian Peninsula: Will the rising tide of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) consciousness unlock a prosperous future for all, or will it inadvertently leave some communities stranded on the shores of change?

The potential for ESG to transform the region is undeniable. Implementing eco-friendly practices, reporting on progress, and training employees all chip away at business bottom lines. The temptation to pass these costs onto consumers is natural, raising the spectre of higher prices for everyday necessities. This could disproportionately impact low-income households, further straining their budgets in a challenging economic climate. Research suggests that by 2050, climate-related events could devour a staggering 3.3 percent of asset value for some sectors, a stark warning that resonates with the urgency highlighted at COP28.

Ignoring this delicate balance risks turning the beacon of hope into a burden for some. So, how can we ensure everyone walks across the green tightrope together?

Transparency as a guiding light: Businesses must ditch the tightrope act and shine a spotlight on their ESG initiatives and cost considerations. Open communication with stakeholders is key. Articulating the long-term benefits of these investments, such as