Last Updated on January 28, 2024 by News Editor
As the world grapples with the urgent need to combat climate change, the MENA region stands at a crossroads. However, despite the tremendous potential for green investing in the MENA region, significant shortcomings hinder its progress. Climate change funding and the allocation of resources towards eco-friendly initiatives are crucial for driving meaningful change and achieving environmental sustainability.
To expedite the transition towards sustainability in the MENA region, bolder steps must be taken to accelerate eco-friendly investments. By fostering improved investment practices, we can unlock many benefits, ranging from increased employment opportunities to enhance economic development. Encouragingly, the realm of green and sustainable finance in the MENA region witnessed an astonishing surge, surmounting $18.6 billion in 2021, a remarkable fourfold increase from $4.5 billion in 2020. However, despite this progress, a substantial gap of approximately $230 billion must be mobilized annually throughout the region to realize the ambitious UN Sustainable Development Goals effectively. It is time for concerted efforts and innovative approaches to drive the necessary investment momentum and secure a sustainable future for the MENA region.
Prioritizing Sustainability: MENA’s Commitment to Clean Energy and Green Investing
Countries in the MENA region have taken proactive measures to propel green investments, adopt robust climate-change strategies, and prioritize sustainability and clean energy. Their firm belief in the transformative power of sustainability investments to catalyze business growth has ignited a remarkable movement. At the heart of this endeavor lies a dedicated council comprising 4,000 members across 11 countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Tunisia, and the UAE. These nations work tirelessly to foster trade and investment between the US and MENA. Together, they are spearheading a wave of change, championing sustainable practices, and paving the way for a greener, more prosperous future in the region.
Surging Renewable Energy Jobs: Doubling Expectations for the Next Decade
In 2021, the number of renewable energy jobs soared to an impressive 12.7 million, and the forecast for the next decade is even more promising, with expectations of doubling this figure. However, global emission reduction targets of 45% by 2030 remain unmet, with emissions increasing by approximately 14%. As energy demand is expected to double, the MENA region’s share in global oil production is projected to rise from 35% to 44% by 2030. Currently responsible for 8.7% of global emissions, the region faces a concerning future, with emissions anticipated to triple by 2060 without intervention.
Private Sector’s Vital Contribution to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Globally, most climate finance, surpassing 62%, is derived from debt instruments, with developing economies exhibiting an even higher ratio. The MENA region presents immense opportunities for wind and solar energy. Acknowledging the significance of the private sector, their involvement is vital in addressing climate change through mitigation and adaptation efforts. A unique collaboration, the US-UAE Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy, aims to catalyze by mobilizing $100 billion in financing, investment, and support to generate 100 gigawatts of clean energy worldwide by 2035. The Cop28 presidency will spearhead discussions on critical aspects such as mitigation, adaptation, finance, and addressing loss and damage, ensuring continued progress in the fight against climate change.