UAE, IRENA unveil $1bn global climate finance platform at COP26

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has committed $400 million to the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) Platform, a new global climate finance facility to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, in securing a minimum of $1 billion in total funding.

The platform was launched by UAE and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on the sidelines of the 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC (COP26), in Glasgow, the United Kingdom. 

Through co-financing, ETAF will aim to mobilize an additional $2 billion in energy transition investments, targeting a total deployment of 1.5 GW of clean renewable energy generation and storage by 2030. 

IRENA will oversee ETAF from its Abu Dhabi headquarters, capitalizing on the UAE’s climate finance market and renewable energy innovation infrastructure. The new accelerator platform will help developing countries avoid financial risks and fund renewable energy projects.

The new UAE-IRENA collaboration to establish the ETAF platform builds on IRENA and ADFD’s long-term partnership, which includes seven cycles of the $350 million IRENA-ADFD Project Facility. The facility has financed 26 projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America between 2013 and 2020, including Small Island Developing States.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber
Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology

“Today’s announcement will help to advance the economies of partner countries by providing reliable, low-cost renewable energy for businesses, industry, and homes. We are proud of this significant new contribution by the ADFD to accelerate climate action and deliver immediate economic benefits in the process. This is the kind of initiative that combines partnership, policy and finance to create tangible progress and it is this focus on practical results that have motivated the UAE to offer to host COP28 in 2023.”

The ETAF platform will source projects on an ongoing basis, with proposals aligned with Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) milestones. Investment-ready projects identified under IRENA’s existing Climate Investment Platform will also represent a notable pipeline.

Mr. Francesco La Camera, the Director-General of IRENA said, “This new investment platform reflects the UAE’s commitment to shaping a sustainable future, and IRENA’s efforts to serve its over 180 member countries as an indispensable energy transformation partner. We encourage multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, governments, and private sector actors to join us in bolstering sustainable development efforts.”

ADFD has collaborated with several clean energy partners and governments across the world to support the development of 90 renewable energy projects in 65 countries, generating more than 9,000 megawatts of power capacity. The latest ETAF contribution brings ADFD’s overall renewable energy project investment to $1.8 billion.

Mr. Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD said, “Through this new platform, we seek to bring together finance and development partners from around the world under a shared vision to combat climate change.”

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