Arab Co-ordination Group pledges at least $24bn to address climate crisis

The financing will support an acceleration of the energy transition

Muhammad Al Jasser, left, group chairman of Islamic Development Bank; Rania Al Mashat, Egypt's minister of international co-operation, centre, and Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, the Opec Fund Director General, at Cop27. Photo: ACG
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Members of the Arab Co-ordination Group (AGC) have promised to provide at least $24 billion in financing by 2030 to address the global climate crisis, the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

This commitment, which was announced at the UN Climate Conference Cop27 in Egypt, will support the acceleration of the energy transition, the increased resilience of food, transport, water and urban systems, and the promotion of countries' energy security.

The ACG comprises 10 regional and international organisations, including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the Opec Fund for International Development.

Members will aim to leverage concessional finance to enable private sector investment in certain areas, it said.

IsDB’s level of climate finance reached 31 per cent of their total commitment last year and the bank aims to increase that to 35 per cent by 2025, Muhammad Al Jasser, the company’s president and group chairman, said.

“IsDB is also pledging to approve at least $13bn in adaptation and mitigation finance during the period 2023-2030.”

The announcement comes as thousands of policymakers and experts have gathered in the resort city of Sharm El Sheikh to refocus efforts on reducing emissions and battling climate change.

This year's climate summit is being held under the cloud of a geopolitical crisis — chiefly the Russia-Ukraine war and growing rivalry between the US and China — and deepening economic woes in most parts of the world because of higher energy and food costs.

“The ACG’s sizeable financing represents decisive and collective action to address one of the world’s most urgent challenges,” said Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, the Opec Fund's Director General.

“The Opec Fund as a committed member of the ACG will contribute to this pledge with the implementation of our recently announced Climate Action Plan.”

The fund, which plans to increase its climate financing to 25 per cent by 2025, aims to reach 40 per cent by 2030.

Fossil fuel combustion will grow by less than 1 per cent in 2022, supported by a “strong” expansion of renewables and rising adoption of electric vehicles, according to the International Energy Agency.

Global carbon dioxide emissions are on course to increase by about 300 million tonnes to 33.8 billion tonnes this year, the agency has said.

Emissions jumped by nearly 2 billion tonnes in 2021, as the world economy rebounded from the effects of the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had reduced travel dramatically.

The global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has prompted a scramble for other energy sources to replace natural gas supplies that Russia has withheld from the market.

Faced with severe gas shortages, some European countries have ramped up their imports and production of coal, triggering concerns about their ability to meet climate targets.

The world needs to double its renewable power targets for 2030 to achieve net-zero emissions, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has said.

Countries are aiming to reach 5.4 terawatts of installed renewable capacity by the end of the decade, about half of the 10.8 terawatts of capacity required — according to Irena’s scenario — to restrict temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Updated: November 09, 2022, 3:55 PM