The UAE committed $4.5 billion in clean energy investments in Africa on Tuesday during a landmark climate meeting hosted by Kenya to lure money for efforts to combat global warming.
“We will deploy $4.5 billion… to jumpstart a pipeline of bankable clean energy projects in this very important continent,” said Sultan Al Jaber, who heads the government-owned renewable energy firm Masdar, the UAE’s national oil company ADNOC and the COP28 climate talks.
Thousands of guests at the Nairobi meeting include heads of state, government and industry executives, and are showcasing Africa’s potential as a sustainable energy superpower.
Following the Africa Climate meeting, the COP28 meeting in Dubai later this year is expected to contain competing agendas for the world’s energy future.
“If Africa loses, we all lose,” warned Jaber, who is also the UAE’s minister for industry and advanced technology.
He stated that the investment would “develop 15 GW (gigawatts) of clean power by 2030” and “catalyze at least another $12.5 billion from multilateral, public, and private sources.”
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the continent’s renewable generation capacity will be 56 gigatonnes by 2022.
The three-day gathering, which began Monday in Nairobi, is intended to bring together African leaders in order to articulate a shared vision for green growth on the diverse continent of 1.4 billion people.
On Tuesday, the conference will present measures to alter global financial arrangements that have resulted in only a small portion of climate-related investments going to Africa.
Jaber called for a “surgical intervention of the global financial architecture that was built for a different era”, urging institutions to lower debt burdens.
Countries in Africa are hamstrung by mounting debt costs and a dearth of finance, and despite an abundance of natural resources just three percent of energy investments worldwide are made in the continent.