GCF strengthens climate action collaboration in the MENA region

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF) recently concluded its first regional dialogue for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in Rabat, Morocco. Held from 24 to 28 June 2024, it brought over 220 participants from 36 countries to discuss strategic climate finance, private sector investments, and capacity building for the region. The regional dialogue marked a significant step towards fostering collaboration and driving low carbon, climate-resilient initiatives in the MENA region.

“This inaugural GCF Regional Dialogue for the MENA region provides an excellent platform for enhancing our cooperation and exchanging insights on climate action,” said Dr. Leila Benali, Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development of Morocco. “This dialogue presents a crucial opportunity to translate our commitments into concrete actions, strengthening the resilience of our communities in response to climate challenges.”

Severe droughts, floods, rising temperatures and sea levels are some of the region’s significant climate challenges. However, the MENA region has only received 11 per cent of global climate finance over the past two decades, with even less directed towards adaptation.

Stressing the necessity of investing in ambitious projects in MENA and GCF’s role in meeting the climate financing gap in the region during its second programming cycle (2024-2027), GCF Executive Director Mafalda Duarte said, “These investments show the power of combining country leadership, GCF finance, and the breadth of partnerships that GCF uniquely makes possible”.

The 5-day dialogue kicked off with discussions on catalysing and leveraging finance and private sector investments and debates on implementing climate projects in vulnerable, fragile, and conflict-affected states.

In the following days, the participants delved into sessions on accreditation frameworks, project-specific assessments, programming support, capacity building, and implementation of Readiness grants. The sessions covered water security, food systems, energy transition investments, and the revised GCF Readiness Strategy. The sector-focused discussions examined safeguards, project economic and financial analysis, and explored opportunities for channeling private sector capital towards climate adaptation and mitigation.

Furthermore, to tackle key programming challenges in the MENA region and enhance regional capacity in water project design, the participants engaged in a comprehensive training session focused on developing and writing concept notes, conducting climate rationales, and performing project economic analyses. They also gained sector-specific knowledge on climate information, early warning systems, and scaling up climate risk initiatives in the region.

Consultations on having a GCF regional presence in MENA were also held.

By facilitating strategic discussions, the regional dialogue established a common understanding of the needs in the region and how GCF’s programming and financing instruments, in collaboration with countries and various partners, can advance climate investments in the MENA region.

 

 

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