Mobilizing finance for climate projects in the Arab world

By Climate Champions | November 6, 2023

With COP28 just three weeks away, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, together with the COP27 and COP28 Presidencies and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) hosted the Second Arab Regional Forum on Climate Finance at the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Climate change in the Arab world is already rapidly unfolding. Soaring heat waves, extended droughts, more intense sandstorms and floods, and rising sea levels are all exacerbating the existing challenges of managing the natural resources of the region. 

To address this, the forum convened governments, the private sector and international development organisations to accelerate the mobilisation of climate finance towards climate projects to be presented by Arab states. 

During keynote addresses, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions for COP27 and COP28, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and H.E Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak called on participants to respond to the urgency of funding projects that both reduce emissions and build resilience for communities increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

The forum showcased a curated portfolio of investable projects aimed at advancing climate action in the areas of water, energy, transport, and biodiversity.

These included a water desalination plant in Jordan powered by renewable energy; an urban mobility project in Tunisia; a land restoration project in Algeria as well as a water treatment pipeline in Oman where the current lack of available water is putting the country’s food security at risk and a green hydrogen project in Egypt which aims to produce 800,000 tonnes per year for export.

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 said: “Investing in our natural environment isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s fundamental to our very existence. Nature is a proven, scalable technology providing more than a third of the mitigation solutions needed by 2030. Increasing investment in nature-based climate projects which both mitigate against climate change and build resilience for local communities is both essential and necessary.”

The event marked  the last in a series of Regional Platforms for Climate Projects convened in 2023 by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions in partnership with the COP27 and COP28 Presidencies and the UN Regional Commissions.

Commenting on the work to date, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP27 said: “ Through the work of the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects we have identified over 400 projects in developing countries. We must seize the opportunity at COP28 to break the climate finance deadlock. It is the key to ambitious action across mitigation, adaptation and resilience and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals in developing countries. The role private finance can and must play in mobilizing capital to fill the significant finance gap cannot be overstated. Currently almost 20 projects have secured partial funding.”

The findings from the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects will be published in a report by the High-Level Champions at COP28.

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