The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged $4.5 billion in clean energy investments in Africa at the landmark Africa Climate Summit in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Tuesday.
The investment is designed to “jumpstart a pipeline of bankable clean energy projects in this very important continent”, Sultan Al Jaber, head of the UAE’s national oil company ADNOC and government-owned renewable energy company Masdar, said.
Jaber, who is also president of the COP28 climate summit, added that a consortium, including Masdar, would help develop 15 gigawatts of clean power by 2030.
He called for a “surgical intervention of the global financial architecture that was built for a different era”, urging institutions to lower the debt burden on some countries.
At #ACS23 this morning the @COP28_UAE President Dr Sultan AlJaber made a transformational $ USD 4.5 billion pledge to help finance African climate projects while calling on all donors to double their climate financing #turningthetide #climatefinance pic.twitter.com/y4biO6eczV— Emily Jayne Laurie (@EmilyJayneLauri) September 5, 2023
The three-day Nairobi summit has gathered heads of state, government and industry, including leaders from Mozambique and Tanzania, as well as United Nations head Antonio Guterres, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen and US climate envoy John Kerry.
The UN Secretary-General Tusday also urged the international community to help make Africa “a renewable energy superpower,” adding that “…renewable energy could be the African miracle.
He called on leaders of the Group of 20 major economies in particular, who will meet in India at the weekend, to “assume [their] responsibilities” in the fight against climate change.
📢Now live: High-level opening of the presidential session at the Africa Climate Summit/#AfricaClimateWeekSpeakers include UN Secretary General @antonioguterres, @COP28_UAE president Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and many other distinguished leaders.Watch here: https://t.co/EWK2ACfnRp— UN Climate Change (@UNFCCC) September 5, 2023
Before the summit opened, Crisis Group senior analyst on climate, environment and conflict, Nazanine Moshiri, told RFI English that experts also hoped that the disasters linked to climate crisis wouldn’t be forgotten, especially the need for conflict resolution in regions like the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, both profoundly impacted by climate change.
A coalition of civil society groups has been urging Kenya‘s President William Ruto to steer global climate priorities away from what they perceive as a Western-led agenda that champions carbon markets and other financial tools to redress the climate crisis.
Green investments and shift in perception
The summit aims to showcase the continent’s potential as a green powerhouse and focused on drawing investment to projects to fight global warming.
Ruto has sought to use this Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi to shift the narrative on the region, and to present clean energy transition as a unique opportunity for Africa.
He believes it can attract the financing to realise its potential.
Ruto said trillions of dollars in “green investment opportunities” would be needed as the climate crisis accelerates.
His goal is also to bring together African leaders to define a shared vision for green development on the diverse continent of 1.4 billion.