- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has committed $4.5 billion (approximately R86 billion) to clean energy investments in Africa during the continent’s first climate summit.
- Despite Africa’s abundance of natural resources, only 3% of global energy investments are made on the continent.
- According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Africa’s renewable generation capacity reached 56 GW in 2022.
- For news and analysis on climate change, visit News24 Climate Future.
On Tuesday, during the landmark Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, the UAE pledged $4.5 billion in clean energy investments in Africa. The summit aims to showcase Africa’s potential as a green powerhouse. Kenyan President William Ruto has used the platform to shift the narrative on the region by presenting the clean energy transition as a unique opportunity for Africa, if it can secure the necessary financing. This announcement from the UAE is the largest commitment made at the conference so far. The UAE will also host the COP28 summit in Dubai later this year.
Sultan Al Jaber, the head of the UAE’s national oil company ADNOC and government-owned renewable energy company Masdar, stated that this investment will initiate a pipeline of viable clean energy projects on the continent. Jaber, who is also the president of the COP28 climate summit, announced that a consortium including Masdar will aid in the development of 15 gigawatts of clean power by 2030. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Africa’s renewable generation capacity reached 56 GW in 2022.
The Nairobi summit, which began on Monday and spans three days, has drawn heads of state, government officials, and industry leaders. Participants include leaders from Mozambique, Tanzania, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and US climate envoy John Kerry. The objective of the summit is to define a shared vision for green development in Africa and set the stage for international diplomacy leading up to the COP28 meeting.
Although the summit marks Africa’s moment, the continent faces significant challenges, including mounting debt costs and a lack of financial resources. Despite having abundant natural resources, Africa receives only 3% of global energy investments. Guterres called on the international community to help Africa become a renewable energy superpower, emphasizing the need to make renewable energy a reality in Africa. He directly addressed the leaders of the G20 nations, urging them to take responsibility in the fight against climate change.
To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit global warming, a clean energy transition in developing nations worldwide is crucial. The International Energy Agency estimates that annual investment needs to increase to $2 trillion within ten years, which is eight times the current level. Speakers at the summit have emphasized the need for reforming global financial structures to align with climate and green development objectives. Additionally, Jaber called for a transformation of the global financial architecture to reduce debt burdens.
The focus on climate finance proposals at the summit has faced opposition from environmental groups. Demonstrators protested near the conference venue in Nairobi on the opening day, advocating for a shift away from what they perceive as a Western-led agenda that prioritizes carbon markets and financial tools to address the climate crisis.