COP28 Presidency Announces Initiative to Unlock Africa’s Clean Energy Potential

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Dr. Sultan Al Jaber , COP28 President-Designate
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber , COP28 President-Designate

COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber addressed the inaugural Africa Climate Summit, held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Speaking to heads of state at its high-level opening, Al Jaber announced a $4.5 billion clean energy investment initiative between the UAE and Africa that aims to unlock Africa’s capacity for sustainable prosperity.

Working together, The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad Credit Insurance, Masdar and AMEA Power will join with Africa 50 as a strategic partner under the guidance of the UAE and African leadership to “develop 15 GW of clean power by 2030.”

The initiative will “demonstrate the commercial case for clean investment across this important continent” and will be “designed to work with Africa, for Africa.”

“Will act as a scalable model that can and should be replicated and will support COP28’s global goal of tripling renewable energy by 2030.”

“Al Jaber grounded his remarks in the reality that “the world is losing the race to secure the goals of the Paris Agreement and struggling to keep 1.5 within reach” And that Collectively, we are not delivering the results that we need in the time we need them.”

Al Jaber cited that currently, “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 is dragging down Africa’s GDP growth by at least 5 per cent every year.

In response, he called on “all parties to unite around a plan of action that is fully inclusive, that fast tracks a just, responsible and well managed energy transition, focuses on people, lives and livelihoods, and fixes climate finance.

Al Jaber called Africa “a beacon of hope, filled with potential and a global example of what pro-climate, nature positive development should look like, adding that “it simply makes sense for Africa to get a fairer share of the pie.”

The “key to making this happen is finance, but it must be made available, accessible and affordable.”

In his remarks, the COP28 President-Designate made calls to raise ambitions, including by “calling on donors to close out the 100-billion-dollar pledge they made over a decade ago, to replenish the green climate fund, to double adaptation finance by 2025 and for all parties to transform the Global Goal on Adaptation from theory into real action and tangible results.”

He also called for “early pledges for the loss and damage fund to help vulnerable countries.”

“What was promised in Sharm El Sheikh, must be delivered in Dubai.”
During the three-day trip, the Al Jaber spoke on multiple platforms on topics including cooling, youth engagement, adaptation and security; as well as meeting with African leaders and visiting local communities experiencing climate-related hardships.

Dr. Al Jaber was joined by esteemed member of the COP28 leadership team, including HE Shamma Al Mazrui, Youth Climate Champion; HE Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion; HE Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General of COP28 and HE Adnan Amin, CEO of COP28

Addressing the imbalance between financing for mitigation and adaptation, Al Jaber called on donors to “double adaptation finance by 2025”, and to “transform the Global Goal on Adaptation from theory and text into tangible action and real results.” We also need early pledges for the loss and damage fund, to help vulnerable countries recover from severe climate impacts that they are already experiencing:

The COP28 President-Designate stated, “What was promised in Sharm El Sheikh, must be fully operational in Dubai.”

During his remarks, Al Jaber also highlighted many of Africa’s trailblazing climate initiatives noting that many African countries are already leading the way. Al Jaber noted how “Kenya is closing in on its goal of 100 per cent clean energy by 2030, the African Union’s Great Green Wall is helping reclaim degraded agricultural land across the Sahel. Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative is enhancing food security and stimulating green jobs across the Horn of Africa. And the countries of the Congo Basin are protecting vital rainforests and helping preserve the world’s natural carbon sinks.”

Al Jaber expressed his belief that Africa is “a beacon of hope, filled with potential and a global example of what pro-climate, nature positive development should look like.”

Al Jaber concluded his remarks at the summit by saying that climate change is a “global fight and demands a global solution”. If Africa loses, we all lose, If Africa succeeds, we all succeed. Progress for one is progress for all.

This inaugural Africa Climate Summit was co-hosted by the Republic of Kenya and the African Union Commission, to convene national leaders from across Africa and the world, as well as leading figures from business, policy and civil society: to design and catalyze solutions which address climate change in Africa and across the world. The summit was attended by global and African leaders, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Chair of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, and President of the African Union, H.E. President Azali Assoumani.

The full COP28 Presidency team accompanied the COP28 President-Designate to the Summit, taking part in a series of speaking engagements, meetings with national leaders, and community visits to improve collaboration on climate action.

During the visit, H.E. Al Mazrui visited the Kibera Slum, Africa’s largest urban slum, to meet individuals whose lives are profoundly affected by climate change. UN Climate Change High Level Champion for COP28 Razan Al Mubarak took part in a series of events focusing on nature-based solutions for climate action, investments for nature, and inclusion.

COP28’s Director General Ambassador Al Suwaidi participated in an event to develop solutions for Voluntary Carbon Markets and announced a new ‘Pact on Fragility’, developed in collaboration with Kenya and Germany, to drive finance to countries experiencing climate change and conflict. Ambassador Al Suwaidi also visited the Dadaab refugee camp and witnessed the experience of refugees who have fled conflict in Somalia, whose hardships are compounded by prolonged droughts.

Dr. Al Jaber also engaged in bilateral meetings with African leaders, including the presidents of Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, African Development Bank, and several important officials and heads of states.

Discussions revolved around mobilizing broader support for the COP28 agenda, addressing vulnerability to climate change impacts, seeking critical EU endorsement for COP priorities, garnering support for the hydrogen agenda, accelerating financing for adaptation efforts, and pursuing outcomes related to nature conservation packages, and many other important areas.

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