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UN mulls green Islamic bonds to fund climate change refugee projects

The United Nations is reportedly interested in issuing Islamic bonds to help those displaced by climate change.
refugee camp

LONDON — The United Nations is considering issuing "green sukuk" bonds to help raise funds for refugees and the internally displaced who have had to migrate due to the adverse impacts of climate change, according to a senior official at the international organization’s refugee agency. 

A green sukuk is a Sharia-compliant bond that funds climate projects such as renewable energy and flood-resistant infrastructure. The UN has not previously issued a sukuk to fund its programs. 

Khaled Khalifa, a senior adviser and representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told Al-Monitor on the sidelines of the IFN Forum in London Monday that UNHCR would be interested in using Islamic finance to help those displaced by severe climate conditions.

“It's something that we would like to do in the future with the third Islamic finance tool that we are now preparing for, which is sukuk, the Islamic bonds,” Khalifa said. “Islamic bonds offer themselves easily and nicely to their response to climate change. And they might offer sizable resources for climate displacement.”

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