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Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and COP28 President-Designate Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The UAE, the host of this year’s United Nations climate summit, pledged $4.5 billion to help African nations accelerate clean-energy projects.

Abu Dhabi’s clean-energy producer Masdar, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad Credit Insurance, the nation’s export credit agency, and AMEA Power, a Dubai-based renewable-energy company, will provide the funds, the COP28 Presidency said in a statement.

The announcement came with a clear call to action for African leaders to improve policy and regulatory frameworks to attract the long-term investments necessary to accelerate the deployment of clean and renewable energy.

Global emissions
Africa contributes just 3 per cent of global emissions, yet suffers some of the worst consequences. Droughts, floods and failed harvests have exposed one-fifth of Africa's people to hunger, tripled the number of people displaced in the last three years, and are dragging down Africa's GDP growth by at least 5 per cent every year.

In order to reduce barriers to investment, Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate highlighted multiple action points that require the coordinated efforts of African leaders and the international community.

These include restoring the financial sustainability of local utilities and modernising basic energy infrastructures, clarifying development processes and eliminating the red-tape delaying market lead-time, in addition to eliminating restrictions to capital flows and accessing adequate and affordable risk mitigation measures.

The initiative will prioritize investments in countries across Africa with clear transition strategies, enhanced regulatory frameworks and a master plan for developing grid infrastructure.

- COP28 President-Designate Dr Sultan Al Jaber

Al Jaber’s announcement to invest in the continent comes months before the UN climate summit that he’s running.

He urged donors to close out the 100 billion-dollar

pledge they made over a decade ago and to replenish the green climate fund.

African Development Bank’s Africa50 investment platform will act as a strategic partner to help identify initial projects, according to the statement.

Access to clean energy

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 600 million people live without access to electricity. Delivering greater access to clean energy will drive social and economic development but currently investment in African renewables represents only 2 per cent of the global total and less than a quarter of the $60 billion a year the continent needs by 2030.

The initiative announced today seeks to correct this imbalance by bringing key stakeholders together to accelerate the development and delivery of infrastructure, generation and distribution solutions to close the gap in universal clean energy access.