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Statement by Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, on the United Arab Emirates’ Commitment to Climate Finance at COP28

A recent Rockefeller Foundation analysis makes clear it is possible to prevent global warming from breaking 2 degrees Celsius by 2090. Doing so will require the world to help developed and emerging economies rapidly decarbonize, while also expanding access to renewable energy in the world’s most energy-poor countries. Accelerating these essential transitions will cost trillions of dollars in public, private, and philanthropic capital.

For that reason, The Rockefeller Foundation welcomes the United Arab Emirates’ commitment, announced today at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), of $30 billion through its newly launched catalytic climate vehicle, ALTÉRRA, to steer private markets at scale towards climate investments. Of this, $5 billion will be concessional and targeted for Global South countries, with the potential to raise 4-5 times that amount from commercial markets.

Given the source of these funds, it is essential that these investments help accelerate the transition to renewable power, especially in low-income countries—making the world’s big bet on energy transitions even bigger. As such, these investments can help empower the nearly 1 billion people in the Global South who currently live without enough electricity to access jobs and opportunity.

For the last 15 years, The Rockefeller Foundation has been at work in this field, including since 2021 as a founding partner of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. Right now, the Alliance is active in 20 countries and already averting emissions, creating jobs, and connecting people to reliable, renewable electricity, often for the first time. The Foundation looks forward to finding ways to collaborate with ALTÉRRA’s partners to ensure this capital reaches the projects, places, and people that need it most.