The United Arab Emirates and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have announced the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) Platform, a new global climate finance facility to accelerate the transition to renewable energy in developing countries. The UAE committed $400 million in funding provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) toward the platform’s goal of securing a minimum of $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’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation; Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne; president of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih; president of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé; and UAE Climate Envoy Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
“The new ETAF platform reinforces our long-standing commitment to support positive climate action for economic growth in developing and vulnerable countries,” says His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “As one of the countries that has signed the UN framework convention on climate change, the UAE fundamentally believes we must work together globally to address climate change. The UAE is proud to act decisively in pushing forward a responsible, sustainability-led agenda, and in partnering with other nations to enable the significant benefits of renewable energy.”
This announcement will help to advance the economies of partner countries by providing reliable, low-cost renewable energy for businesses, industry, and homes,” states HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. “We are proud of this significant new contribution by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development 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 has motivated the UAE to offer to host COP 28 in 2023.”
Through co-financing, ETAF will aim to mobilize an additional USD 2 billion in energy transition investments, targeting a total deployment of 1.5 GW of clean renewable energy generation and storage by 2030. ETAF will be managed by IRENA from its Abu Dhabi headquarters, capitalizing on the UAE’s climate finance market and renewable energy innovation infrastructure. The new accelerator platform will help mitigate investment risks and finance renewable energy projects in developing countries that may otherwise struggle to secure sufficient capital.
“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,” adds Francesco La Camera, the director-general of IRENA. “We encourage multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, governments and private sector actors to join us in bolstering sustainable development efforts.”
The new UAE-IRENA partnership to establish the ETAF platform builds on the long-term collaboration between IRENA and ADFD, which includes seven cycles of the $350 million IRENA-ADFD Project Facility. Between 2013 and 2020, the facility financed 26 projects in Asia, Africa and the Americas, notably including Small Island Developing States.
In total to date, ADFD has worked with a number of clean energy partners and governments in 65 countries to support the development of 90 renewable energy projects that have the capacity to generate more than 9,000 MW of electricity. With the new ETAF contribution, ADFD’s total financing for renewable energy projects now stands at $1.8 billion.
The ETAF platform will source projects on an ongoing basis, supplemented by calls for proposals aligned with Paris Agreement and SDG milestones. Investment-ready projects identified under IRENA’s existing Climate Investment Platform will also represent a notable pipeline.
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