The livelihoods of over half a billion folks within the Center East and North Africa (MENA) are beneath risk, as present projections point out a 4C enhance by 2050. A brand new World Financial Discussion board report, Closing the Local weather Motion Hole: Accelerating Decarbonization and the Power Transition in MENA, highlights the important thing sustainability challenges within the area and gives a blueprint for daring decarbonization actions that would gas new financial alternatives.
The report’s findings point out how native leaders might concurrently counter these projections whereas fostering higher financial diversification and high-quality jobs. This could spur on the regional momentum for holistic local weather motion, as illustrated by the back-to-back internet hosting of COP27 in Egypt and COP28 within the UAE, and place MENA as a world chief in sustainable applied sciences for years.
The report was developed in collaboration with Bain & Firm, with contributions from greater than 40 policy-makers, local weather actors, enterprise leaders, banks and business specialists from the non-public and public sectors who type the Discussion board’s Leaders for Sustainable MENA .
‘The MENA area has been one of many quickest rising areas over the previous decade and there’s a pathway for the area to place itself on the forefront of sustainability efforts whereas sustaining its upward financial trajectory,” stated Børge Brende, President, World Financial Discussion board. “As international markets proceed to shift, and power calls for rise, the area requires daring and coordinated motion from policy-makers and companies to steer a simply power transition and meet each climate- and development-related objectives.”
In response to the report analysis, temperatures within the area are rising at twice the worldwide common charge, presenting an array of challenges within the coming many years that would threaten the livelihoods of the 575 million individuals who reside there, 70% of them in low-income international locations. Local weather shocks, comparable to rising temperatures and extended droughts, might have severe results on agriculture and liveability, in addition to a compound impact on MENA’s systemic points.
The report finds that MENA international locations path behind comparable areas by way of their sustainability progress. Whereas native governments have pledged prior to now 24 months to deliver 60% of MENA’s emissions beneath the web zero ambition, companies total have but to observe swimsuit and bridge the hole with comparable international markets –12% have arrange a internet zero goal and 6% have established a roadmap to succeed in internet zero.
“Efficiently transitioning to a sustainable future will hinge on daring measures from policymakers and corporations, elevating consciousness and multi-stakeholder partnerships”, stated Tom De Waele, Managing Accomplice of Bain & Firm Center East. “However whereas this sustainability motion for Center East requires important funding of time and sources, it additionally represents a major financial alternative, which might effectively place the MENA area on the coronary heart of world power transition and unlock doorways to financial diversification, high-quality job creation, and international management in low-carbon applied sciences.”
With considerable pure sources like photo voltaic and wind power, and important land availability, the area might turn into a world chief in scaling new power pathways, comparable to renewables and clear hydrogen. Coupled with capital availability and decisive governance within the largest economies, these traits might facilitate MENA’s transition to a decarbonized financial system whereas serving to it meet the rising worldwide demand for clear power.
“At this time, we discover ourselves at a clean-energy tipping level and the excellent news is that there has by no means been a lot momentum, a lot convergence in market demand, know-how, regulation and public sentiment.” stated Henadi Al-Saleh, Chairperson, Agility. “Consequently, climate-related exercise by firms and buyers has already shifted from danger mitigation to alternative seize. The MENA area has considerable sources, expertise, ambition – and renewable sources within the type photo voltaic and wind – to cleared the path and make important contributions to the worldwide decarbonisation drive.”
The report presents a tailor-made roadmap for regional policy-makers and companies to advance sustainability motion and facilitate financial diversification by means of the power transition, contemplating the traits and desires of each the Gulf and non-Gulf international locations alike.
To safeguard financial progress and international power affect, Gulf nations ought to concentrate on technology-based options that scale back emissions in difficult sectors, optimize consumption, transition to renewables and implement carbon seize at scale. In the meantime, non-Gulf international locations ought to prioritize inexpensive power, significantly in low-income areas, by rising renewable power utilization, phasing out regressive fossil gas subsidies and supporting carbon credit score initiatives.
Upskilling in inexperienced jobs by means of talent growth programmes and business partnerships might be essential throughout the area.