Emirates Development Bank has announced that it has committed up to AED 1.3 billion (USD 350 million) to support the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform, a global climate finance facility established by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This is aimed at accelerating the financing of renewable energy projects and drive funding of renewable energy projects in developing countries, it shared.
The announcement was made during the signing of a Collaborative Partnership Agreement between EDB and IRENEA, attended by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Emirates Development Bank; and Francesco La Camera, the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Signed by Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB and Dr. Ahmed Badr, the Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) Project Facilitation and Support division, under the agreement, EDB will provide financing for projects recommended by IRENA which are aligned with the Paris Agreement and the UN SDGs through the ETAF platform.
EDB will also bring its project financing expertise and collaborate with other ETAF partners to ensure financing of the selected projects, it shared.
His Excellency Dr Sultan Al Jaber said: “Guided by the UAE leadership’s forward-looking vision for sustainable socio-economic development, we are very pleased to sign this timely agreement with IRENA, just days ahead of COP28, where we will rally the world around the goal of keeping 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. COP28 marks the first global stock take since the Paris Agreement, and this agreement is a significant milestone in helping to provide adequate climate financing to drive global investments that meet the 2030 global goals and fast-track a just, equitable, orderly, and responsible energy transition.
“The UAE is one of the largest investors globally in renewable energy, having invested AED 183.5 billion (USD50 billion) in renewable energy projects in 70 countries. Therefore, as a key enabler of the UAE’s national development and diversification agenda, Emirates Development Bank continues to drive investments to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and drive economic growth.
“The EDB-IRENA agreement reflects the nation’s commitment to bolster global collaboration and scale up financing of renewable energy projects to achieve global climate goals We are proud of this new collaboration which will scale up climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts on the road to COP28 and beyond.”
La Camera stated: “Due to rapidly falling costs, renewable energy has become the most cost-effective climate solution available to address rising emissions and growing energy demand. This is why, together with the COP28 Presidency, we are advocating for a tripling of global renewable power by 2030, a key step to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Earlier this year, the UAE embraced this target domestically, pledging to triple its own renewable energy capacity by 2030, demonstrating its commitment to leading by example. By joining IRENA’s ETAF platform, Emirates Development Bank will play a direct role in translating these ambitious goals into action on the ground.”
Al Naqbi added: “As the UAE’s development bank, we are committed to supporting the nation’s ambitions for a just, equitable, orderly and responsible energy transition. EDB offers bespoke financing solutions to support businesses addressing the challenges and opportunities in the renewables sector. Our new partnership with IRENA comes at a critical time as the UAE prepares to host COP28 and bolster global efforts towards sustainable economic development. Through the ETAF platform, we will cultivate a robust pipeline of bankable renewable energy projects, and support entrepreneurs to bring high-quality, sustainable, and financially viable clean energy business to market. This will not only help EDB deliver strong economic, social and environmental impact, but will consolidate the UAE’s position as a pioneering global hub for renewable energy technology and manufacturing.”
ETAF is a multi-stakeholder climate finance platform, managed by IRENA from its Abu Dhabi headquarters, that leverages its partners’ expertise, capital and market outreach.
It aims to advance the global energy transition globally by facilitating the investment of approximately USD 1.0 billion of capital by 2030 provided by various funding sources to finance commercially proven, mature renewable energy projects.
EDB has a mandate to approve AED30 billion in financing support to 13,500 companies within five sectors – renewables, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and food security – by 2026.
For investments in alternative or renewable energy, or businesses shifting to clean and renewable energy sources in the UAE, the Bank offers up to 100 per cent financing of the project value with a maximum tenor of 15 years and a two-year grace period.
In addition, the bank recently launched a first of its kind Solar Energy Financing Program aimed at supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (mSMEs) to address cost barriers in shifting to cleaner sources of energy.
The program will allocate AED100 million to bolster the adoption of green energy solutions, focusing on solar energy initiatives.