Attendees arrive at the Blue Zone on day three of the COP28 climate conference at Expo City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. More than 70,000 politicians, diplomats, campaigners, financiers and business leaders will fly to Dubai to talk about arresting the world’s slide toward environmental catastrophe. Photographer: Annie Sakkab/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dubai – The annual United Nations Climate Summit, known as COP28, is underway in Dubai, focusing on targeted action to address climate change and create a sustainable future for the planet. With over 100,000 participants, including global leaders and heads of states, this year’s event has become the most attended COP ever.

During the first day of the conference, an agreement was reached on the implementation of the Loss and Damages Fund, which aims to raise funds to protect vulnerable countries and support their adaptation to climate change. The initial target was set at $200 million, but pledges have already exceeded $400 million. According to the COP28 President, Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, this outcome demonstrates the commitment of world leaders to addressing the climate crisis.

In an interview with CNBC Africa, Al-Jaber also highlighted the Africa Climate Summit that took place in Nairobi before COP28. He commended the summit for its unique platform and emphasized the role it played in shaping COP28’s strategy and objectives. He stated that Africa’s political will and hands-on experience were instrumental in formulating an action-oriented agenda to address global challenges and keep the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

To support Africa’s energy transition, Al-Jaber announced the launch of a $4.5 billion fund that aims to replicate the success of the renewable energy projects implemented by Mazdar over the past 17 years. The fund, backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will provide equity and development funding to attract private capital and mitigate risks, ensuring the security of investments in renewable energy projects across the continent. Al-Jaber projected that the fund, which has already started deploying $4.5 billion, will reach a total of $25 billion in the next three years.

The fund’s objective is to address Africa’s growing energy needs, stimulate economic development, create jobs, attract industries, and transfer knowledge and technology. Al-Jaber emphasized the importance of supporting the entire value chain of businesses involved in renewable energy projects, from manufacturing to supply chain resilience.

The COP28 President also praised Kenyan President William Ruto for his efforts in climate action, highlighting the unprecedented progress made in the country. These efforts align with the agenda of COP28 and contribute to advancing the energy transition in Africa and achieving global sustainability goals.

With Africa’s abundant renewable energy potential and increasing demand, the continent represents a significant opportunity for investment and development. The establishment of the $4.5 billion fund and the commitment of world leaders at COP28 demonstrate the international community’s recognition of Africa’s role in the energy transition and the urgent need to support sustainable development in the region.