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The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) are ramping up efforts to advance renewable energy investment and enable access to sustainable finance in emerging and developing economies.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed in Vienna by IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera and the Director-General of the OPEC Fund, Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, formalises the cooperation. In pursuit of the common objective of a just, inclusive and equitable energy transition aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, both sides agreed to mobilise finance, unlock investment and support project development on the ground.
IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said, “The global energy transition must dramatically accelerate. To achieve net-zero and universal energy access, our World Energy Transitions Outlook shows that we must nearly treble the speed of deployment of renewables and massively redirect investment towards transition. Our cooperation with the OPEC Fund will help unlock much-needed capital in developing countries to bring economic growth, sustainable prosperity and jobs to people through renewables projects on the ground.”
OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa added, “We promote an inclusive and just energy transition that leaves no one behind. Our cooperation with IRENA will help to provide the necessary funds and facilitate access to innovative financing solutions, knowledge and technologies, as well as technical assistance for project development and capacity building to support the energy transition in our partner countries, particularly in Africa.”
At a practical level, both sides will closely collaborate to provide technical assistance and capacity building to project developers, creating a pipeline of bankable projects ready to be financed. They will also work to attract potential investors.
The parties will also explore cooperation under the IRENA-managed Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) Platform, the Climate Investment Platform (CIP), and OPEC Fund initiatives such as the planned Energy Access and Transition Trust Fund.
Both sides will also closely collaborate at UN Climate Conferences COP27 in Egypt in November 2022 and COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in November 2023.