UAE and IRENA launch USD 1 billion Global Finance Platform to accelerate renewable energy

UAE and IRENA launch USD 1 billion Global Finance Platform to accelerate renewable energy

The UAE and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today announced the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) Platform, a new global climate finance facility to accelerate developing countries' transition to renewable energy. The UAE committed USD 400 million in funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) toward the platform's goal of raising at least USD 1 billion in total funding.

The formal launch took place on the sidelines of the COP 26 United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldives, President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, and UAE Climate Envoy Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.

His Majesty "The new ETAF platform reinforces our long-standing commitment to support positive climate action for economic growth in developing and vulnerable countries," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said. As a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UAE believes that we must collaborate globally, in partnerships, to mitigate the effects of climate change. The UAE is proud to act decisively in advancing a responsible, sustainability-led agenda, as well as in collaborating with other nations to enable the significant benefits of renewable energy."

HE "The UAE views development aid and climate action as powerful catalysts for economic growth, both domestically and internationally," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Climate and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology. The announcement made today will help partner countries' economies advance by providing dependable, low-cost renewable energy for businesses, industry, and homes. We are proud of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development's significant new contribution to accelerate climate action while providing immediate economic benefits. This is the type of initiative that combines collaboration, policy, and finance to produce tangible results, and it is this emphasis on practical outcomes that has motivated the UAE to offer to host COP 28 in 2023."

ETAF will seek to mobilise an additional USD 2 billion in energy transition investments through co-financing, with a goal of deploying 1.5 GW of clean renewable energy generation and storage by 2030. IRENA will manage ETAF from its Abu Dhabi headquarters, leveraging the UAE's climate finance market and renewable energy innovation infrastructure. The new accelerator platform will aid in the mitigation of investment risks and the financing of renewable energy projects in developing countries that would otherwise struggle to secure sufficient capital.

"We have reached a defining moment in our generation's efforts to put our economies and our environment on a path to stability, resilience, and shared prosperity," said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. The most appealing and effective tool we have for accomplishing this is energy transformation. This new investment platform reflects the UAE's commitment to shaping a sustainable future, as well as IRENA's efforts to serve its over 180 member countries as an indispensable partner in energy transformation. We invite multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, governments, and private-sector actors to join us in bolstering efforts for sustainable development."

The new UAE-IRENA collaboration to establish the ETAF platform builds on IRENA and ADFD's long-term collaboration, which includes seven cycles of the USD 350 million IRENA-ADFD Project Facility. Between 2013 and 2020, the facility funded 26 projects in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, including a number of Small Island Developing States.

To date, ADFD has collaborated with a number of clean energy partners and governments in 65 countries to support the development of 90 renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of more than 9,000 megawatts. ADFD's total financing for renewable energy projects now stands at USD 1.8 billion, thanks to the new ETAF contribution.

Your Excellency "IRENA and ADFD have an excellent track record of working together on the development of major renewable energy projects in developing markets," said Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD. These projects will have a significant environmental, economic, and social impact on countries and their people. We hope to bring together finance and development partners from around the world through this new platform to fight climate change."

"Given the critical role that renewable energy projects play in achieving sustainable development for developing countries, ADFD has committed to allocating USD 400 million until 2030 to enable accelerated deployment," His Excellency Al Suwaidi added. These projects will have a significant impact on local communities while also assisting beneficiary countries in achieving greater economic and social development."

The ETAF platform will continuously source projects, supplemented by calls for proposals aligned with Paris Agreement and SDG milestones. Investment-ready projects identified through IRENA's existing Climate Investment Platform will also contribute significantly to the pipeline.