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ESG to enter centre stage as Oman charts path to Net Zero future

20 Nov 2022

Muscat – Oman will target investments worth more than US$190bn by 2050 into the country’s energy transition and decarbonisation projects to alleviate the negative effects of climate change, the sultanate’s ambassador to Egypt told the COP27 conference last week.

Oman’s roadmap to achieve Net Zero by its 2050 target date and the role of ESG (environmental, social and governance) in achieving sustainable economic diversification in the country will be the central theme of the workshops tackled at the 9th Oman Energy ESG Forum in Muscat on Tuesday.

The sultanate is finalising a national policy for energy transition that focuses on setting a general framework, policies, and regulations to accelerate the transformation process in sectors of hydrogen, renewable energy, energy efficiency and the capture, transfer, use and storage of carbon, and an update of the country’s strategic plan will be presented at the industry event this week.

“There is no doubt that ESG will be increasingly embedded in nearly all business conversations in Oman going forward,” said Sean Evers, chairman of the Oman Energy Forum, which is returning to Muscat after a three-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic. “What used to be a ‘nice to have’ is now certainly a ‘must have’ – and the clock to gain competitive footing in this fast-growing market is ticking,” he said.

ESG is a framework that helps stakeholders understand how an organization is managing risks and opportunities related to environmental, social, and governance criteria. It is increasingly playing a prominent role in creditworthiness, as ESG can – and does – influence credit quality, specifically, the capacity and willingness of borrowers to meet financial commitments.

The Capital Market Authority said in March that it was committed to introducing ESG reporting guidelines for companies listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange, but initially for voluntary implementation only before it becomes mandatory sometime later.

The 9th Oman Energy Forum, which will be held only a few days after the conclusion of the UN climate conference in Egypt (COP27), will convene 250 executives and officials from a diverse range of sectors, including energy, aviation, automobile, agriculture, academia, freezones and logistics, and through 18 sessions with over 40 speakers.

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