Bloomberg Philanthropies and Irena in Cop28 partnership for global energy transition push

Collaboration will galvanise climate action by increasing clean-energy development

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28, Francesco La Camera, director general of Irena, and Michael R Bloomberg,  founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Photo: Irena / Bloomberg Philanthropies
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Bloomberg Philanthropies and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) on Monday said they were collaborating to bolster the use of clean energy and capital mobilisation in emerging markets and developing economies, ahead of the 2023 UN climate conference Cop28 in November.

The move was announced in the presence of Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and President-designate of Cop28, Francesco La Camera, director general of Irena, and Michael R Bloomberg, UN special envoy on climate ambition and solutions and founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

As part of the partnership, Bloomberg Philanthropies will enable Irena to advance efforts to drive the widespread adoption of renewable energy and reduce political, technical and financial barriers to energy transition, the organisations said in a statement.

This is expected to be achieved by three strategies, building capacities in South-east Asia, Africa and Latin America, strengthening project finance and preparation and encouraging private capital mobilisation.

“The world must move faster and further than ever before to seize the moment of the global stocktake and close the gap between ambition and reality,” Dr Al Jaber said.

“I look forward to working hand-in-hand with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Irena to create a paradigm shift for tangible progress and help ensure that Cop28 UAE delivers on its promise to deliver game-changing solutions for all.”

A robust supply of bankable renewable energy projects is one of the main barriers to scaling up the financing of clean energy, especially in EMDEs.

According to Irena, investment in renewables reached $0.5 trillion in 2022. However, this is less than one third of the average annual investment needed until 2030 to hit net-zero emission goals by 2050.

To accelerate the pipeline of attractive renewable energy projects, Bloomberg and Irena's partnership will reduce risk for potential developers and investors by providing vigorous technical and financial expertise to eligible projects that meet environmental, social, regulatory and economic factors, and implementation readiness.

“While we continue to make progress on the energy transition, it is still way off track,” said Mr La Camera.

“Annual additions of renewable power capacity must grow three times the current level by 2030 if we want to stay on track to limiting the impacts of climate change and stay below 1.5°C. As we drive towards solutions at Cop28, today’s agreement between Irena and Bloomberg Philanthropies will accelerate the development and delivery of renewable energy projects in the countries that need it most.”

Dr Sultan Al Jaber says this is the decade to provide clean energy the world needs

Dr Sultan Al Jaber says this is the decade to provide clean energy the world needs

The partnership also complements Bloomberg Philanthropies’collaborations with Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, Sustainable Energy for All and other organisations to support developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America to accelerate the phasing out of coal, develop viable pathways to net-zero and speed up the use of renewable energy, the statement said.

“Increasing the production of renewable energy is an urgent necessity, and doing it requires strong partnerships across the public, private and non-profit sectors,” said Mr Bloomberg.

“By working closely with the International Renewable Energy Agency, we'll help countries in the Global South develop the capacity they need to build clean-energy projects more quickly and efficiently."

Updated: May 23, 2023, 6:20 AM