The World Bank has announced an ambitious plan to escalate climate financing in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, aiming to allocate $10 billion by 2025. This commitment was confirmed by Meskerem Brhane, the Regional Director for Sustainable Development in the MENA region for the World Bank, during her statements at COP28 to the Emirates News Agency (WAM). From 2021 to 2023, the World Bank has already contributed a substantial $6.3 billion towards climate financing in the MENA region.
The funding predominantly aids in reducing net emissions and bolsters resilience projects, equipping countries to effectively prepare for and manage natural disasters. Notably, last year, Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon received $800 million in climate-related financing. In alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the World Bank has thoroughly integrated climate considerations into all its operations across the MENA region.
The organization’s MENA Climate Change Roadmap, spanning from 2021 to 2025, centers on four pivotal areas: enhancing food systems, ensuring water security, facilitating energy transition, and promoting sustainable finance. Brhane commended the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for hosting COP28, highlighting it as a testament to the nation’s leadership in addressing climate change and its commitment to fostering global cooperation.
She emphasized that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are well-positioned to lead the conversation on energy transition and renewable energy, given their progress in green and blue hydrogen projects. She also underscored the potential economic benefits of embracing green growth strategies in the region, projecting that the region’s GDP could soar to over $13 trillion by 2050.
However, Brhane stressed the critical role of private sector investment in actualizing climate goals. She noted that transforming resource consumption, energy production, and manufacturing processes requires significant financial backing. Additionally, the World Bank has published Country Climate and Development Reports for MENA nations, aiming to identify key climate risks and their implications for each country’s development.
These reports serve as a guide to prioritize actions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing adaptation and resilience. Brhane concluded by reiterating the World Bank’s commitment to assisting countries in achieving broader development objectives while navigating the challenges posed by climate change.