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The UAE 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 US$400mn in funding provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) toward the platform’s goal of securing a minimum of US$1bn in total funding.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, minister of foreign affairs, UAE, said, “The new ETAF platform reinforces our long-standing commitment to support positive climate action for economic growth in developing and vulnerable countries. As one of the countries that have 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.”
Through co-financing, ETAF will aim to mobilise an additional US$2bn in energy transition investments, targeting a total deployment of 1.5GW of clean renewable energy generation and storage by 2030. ETAF will be managed by IRENA from its Abu Dhabi headquarters, capitalising 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.
Francesco La Camera, the director-general of IRENA, stated, “We have reached a defining moment in our generation’s efforts to put our economies and our environment on a path to stability, resilience and shared prosperity. The energy transformation is the most attractive and effective tool we have to achieve that. 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.”
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 US$350mn 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 megawatts of electricity. With the new ETAF contribution, ADFD’s total financing for renewable energy projects now stands at US$1.8bn.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of ADFD, stated, “IRENA and ADFD have an excellent track record working together on the development of major renewable energy projects in developing markets. These projects have significant environmental, economic and social impact that is transformational for countries and their people. Through this new platform, we seek to bring together finance and development partners from around the world under a shared vision to combat climate change.”
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.