WASHINGTON DC - The COP28 Presidency co-hosted a high-level finance roundtable on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week, focused on advancing the climate finance agenda on the road to COP29 and beyond.

Organised by COP28, the Independent High Level Expert Group (IHLEG), the Global Climate Finance Centre (GCFC) and ALTÉRRA, the closed-door event included finance ministers, climate, finance, and investment leaders, as well as civil society and philanthropy representatives. The GCFC and ALTÉRRA were both initiatives launched at COP28.

Participants discussed progress since COP28 to make climate finance action ready, including steps taken to implement the Global Climate Finance Framework. The Framework was launched at COP28 to build momentum towards a new climate finance architecture and to unlock the investment opportunity in climate action, especially in the Global South.

Reforming climate finance was a key pillar of the COP28 Presidential Action Agenda, with the COP27 and COP28 Presidencies commissioning the IHLEG to produce a report outlining the key steps needed to produce a new international climate finance framework. The resulting Global Climate Finance Framework was launched at COP28 with the support of 13 world leaders representing diverse constituencies and around 40 percent of the global GDP.

Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General and CEO of ALTÉRRA, and GCFC CEO Mercedes Vela Monserrate gave welcoming remarks at the roundtable, followed by a keynote address delivered by Hon. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados. IHLEG co-chairs Vera Songwe and Nick Stern also gave a presentation on their report.

Ambassador Al Suwaidi said, “The key enabler of climate progress is finance – developing countries will need an estimated US$2.4 trillion every year by 2030 to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach, and we need to make sure that climate finance is action ready. At COP28, we set out to change the narrative that investments in climate and nature are burdens, to presenting them as an unprecedented opportunity for shared prosperity and growth. This roundtable will help to turbocharge the climate finance agenda and deliver more positive outcomes at COP29 and beyond.”

Mercedes Vela Monserrate, GCFC CEO, said, “Effective partnerships are crucial to accelerating the flow of climate finance. This event brought together the diverse stakeholders that we need to have at the table. By combining our expertise and resources we can unlock new investment opportunities, drive positive climate impact and contribute to a more sustainable future for all. A COP28 legacy initiative, GCFC will foster innovation, convene stakeholders and support the scale-up of well-functioning financial markets.”

Other speakers included Ambassador André Corrêa do Lago, Brazil’s Secretary for Climate and Environment; John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the US President; Wopke Hoekstra, EU Commissioner for Climate Action; Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC; and Elnur Soltanov, the incoming COP29 Presidency CEO, among others.

Also in attendance were ministers and climate ambassadors from Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, the United Kingdom; MDB leaders, finance leaders, investors, philanthropic organisation and civil society representatives.

The Global Climate Finance Framework, which builds on the momentum of initiatives such as the Bridgetown Initiative championed by Hon. Mia Mottley, provides a robust platform to measure progress made by all key actors in climate finance across the private and public sectors, including multilateral development banks (MDBs) and international financial institutions (IFIs).

Ambassador Al Suwaidi participated in a number of other events during the Spring Meetings in D.C., including a Brazilian G20 Presidency-hosted panel on sustainable finance; a COP29 Presidency-led event on climate finance; a World Economic Forum-organised private sector climate finance event; a sustainable investment in cities event co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and C40 Cities; along with other engagements with government, finance and civil society representatives.

Delivered at COP28, the UAE Consensus is recognised as a landmark agreement, and reflects the vision and commitment of the UAE’s leadership to develop a new global climate finance ecosystem that drives investment to where it is needed the most, particularly in emerging markets and developing economies.

During COP28 the UAE launched ALTÉRRA, the world’s largest private investment vehicle for climate action, at COP28 with a US$30 billion commitment, with the fund aiming to mobilize US$250 billion globally by 2030 to finance a new climate economy.

The GCFC, headquartered in the Abu Dhabi Global Market, is focused on catalysing climate investments and solutions globally and was also launched at COP28. Created as an international and independent hub, GCFC is dedicated to driving real-world impact with a growing ecosystem of partners. It will do so by providing advice on fit-for-purpose regulatory frameworks, facilitating partnerships, and building the capacity of key actors in the UAE and beyond.

The UAE is also playing a crucial role in the first-ever COP Presidencies Troika which aims to support continuity between COP28, COP29, and COP30 in support of keeping the 1.5°C goal within reach.