DUBAI - Abu Dhabi will host a pioneering Global Climate Finance Centre (GCFC), that will accelerate the development of climate finance frameworks and skills, and champion best practices in the UAE and globally.
The GCFC aims to address key barriers linked to financial frameworks that hinder investment flows, to help make climate finance available, affordable, and accessible as a COP28 legacy for action.
As an independent think-tank and research hub, the GCFC aims to address the root causes currently preventing investment, bringing together cutting-edge research and leading experts to develop fit-for-purpose financial frameworks that are increasingly aligned internationally. By working with stakeholders across sectors, the GCFC will help to create the enabling environment for investment into low-carbon, sustainable and resilient projects.
The GCFC, headquartered in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), was first announced by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, during the Finance Session panel on 1st December.
Today, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, addressed the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) Summit, part of the Special Edition of ADSW at COP28, where he gave more details of the GCFC’s three core functions:
- Research, Policy and Innovation: As an independent and private-sector-focused global climate finance think-tank, the GCFC will conduct cutting-edge research and share best practices, principles and solutions to align frameworks and build financial markets, enabling greater investment to flow into low-carbon and sustainable investments.
- Advisory and stakeholder engagement: The GCFC will convene private and public stakeholders who are directly facing impediments to develop recommendations and actions that are targeted to deploy funds and incentivise the creation of strong pipelines of bankable investment opportunities. Coalitions and partnerships of relevant actors will be at the core of the GCFC’s work.
- Climate Finance Academy: The GCFC will first and foremost develop a strong knowledge basis on the back of the Abu Dhabi experience on green finance markets, including providing training modules and tailored courses to build expertise and capacity in the UAE. This will establish the Academy as a global thought leader, in turn, opening opportunities to engage with other jurisdictions in supporting the development of tailored financial frameworks well aligned with Abu Dhabi.
Together these initiatives will build capacity in the UAE and global financial institutions; scale up green finance market activity and ecosystems; and catalyse international investment into low and zero-carbon initiatives.
The announcement of the GCFC coincides with another landmark climate finance development, the launch of ALTÉRRA, a US$30 billion catalytic climate vehicle that will drive forward international efforts to create a fairer climate finance system with an emphasis on improving access to funding for the Global South. ALTÉRRA will aim to mobilise US$250 billion globally by 2030, steering private markets towards climate investments with a focus on transforming emerging markets and developing economies where traditional investment has lacked due to the higher perceived risks across those geographies. By supporting the creation of climate financial markets, the GCFC will help enable ALTÉRRA to build a climate finance ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and unlock funds into climate investments around the world at a transformational scale.
Commenting on the creation of the GCFC, Dr. Al Jaber said, “The scale of the climate crisis demands urgent and game-changing solutions from every industry. Finance plays a critical role in turning our ambitions into action and is essential to eliminating emissions and keeping 1.5C within reach. COP28 must be an inflection point as we unite the world on how we bridge the gaps to 2030 identified in the Global Stocktake. To do this, we need an all-of-the-above approach that includes everyone because everyone is needed. That is why I greatly welcome this new Global Climate Finance Centre which will catalyse the transformation of the UAE financial markets and institutions towards a greener and more sustainable future. It will put Abu Dhabi and the UAE at the forefront of driving global change in sustainable finance, providing a positive legacy for years to come.”
Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi commented at ADSW, “Abu Dhabi knows how to deliver rapid progress, which is increasingly critical as we respond to global economic and environmental challenges. Just as we have built ADGM as a pioneering International Financial Centre in just eight years, it is now time for Abu Dhabi to build a new pioneer for global climate finance. This new GCFC will unlock new capital flows into the region as the Emirate becomes a key marketplace for sustainable finance, building upon ADGM’s progressive Sustainable Finance Regulatory Framework. Our ambition is for the benefits of this world-leading facility to touch every corner of our planet.”
The GCFC is a global institution. In addition to ADGM, the other Founding Members of the GCFC are ADQ, BlackRock, Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), HSBC, Masdar, Ninety One, and the World Bank Group. The Founding Members will provide strategic direction to the GCFC, drawing on their deep expertise, experience, and networks. The GCFC will seek to work with peer institutions and knowledge partners to build on sustainable finance leadership, develop expertise in-house and deliver maximum impact.
Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, Minister of Investment and Managing Director and CEO of ADQ, said, “As we work to accelerate economic transformation and sustainable growth, it is vital that we support innovation in sustainable finance. As a founding member of the GCFC, ADQ is committed to helping deliver lasting impact that will also increase the diversification of the Abu Dhabi economy and strengthen its growing sustainable finance sector.”
Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, said, "BlackRock is delighted to participate in the launch of the GCFC. The future focus of the think tank speaks directly to a number of areas of interest for many of our clients around the world, as they seek the best data, analytics and insights to navigate the risks and capture the investment opportunities of the transition to a low-carbon economy. As we do with many think tanks and organisations around the world, we look forward to contributing our insights and research to the GCFC.”
Kate Hampton, Chief Executive Officer of CIFF, said, “Scaling high-quality, low-cost climate finance for developing countries is essential to keep 1.5 degrees alive and to enable long-term, green, and resilient growth. CIFF is pleased to be partnering with the Global Climate Finance Centre, which can bring transparency and ambition to investors’ transition finance targets and delivery and align that capital with NDCs.”
Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Co-Chair, Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), said, “Innovation is needed to accelerate the flow of climate finance and build a bridge to a more prosperous future. GFANZ is looking forward to supporting the Global Climate Finance Centre, to close the gaps in data, action, and investment we must address to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. We applaud the UAE’s leadership in tackling the most pressing and difficult challenges and look forward to working together on our shared mission to scale transition finance and mobilise capital to the global south.”
Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive at HSBC, said, “For the world to achieve its climate goals, it is absolutely critical that thinking continues to evolve, markets continue to develop, and countries continue to collaborate. HSBC is pleased to be a founding member of the Global Climate Finance Centre, which underlines the COP28 Presidency’s commitment to making this a COP of action while putting in place the tools needed to help deliver a net-zero future.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, said, “We welcome this important initiative, and Abu Dhabi is the perfect location to host the Global Climate Finance Centre. Masdar looks forward to supporting this independent think-tank through our rich experience and pioneering legacy in financing and developing clean energy projects across the globe.”
Hendrik du Toit, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ninety One, said, “Ninety One looks forward to supporting the GCFC in partnership with the UAE. Climate finance is a vital part of the battle against climate change. This launch represents decisive, ambitious action.”
Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group, said, “We need the resources and ingenuity of the private sector, we need all shoulders to the wheel. This partnership embodies that cooperation, helping scale up solutions for low-carbon, climate-smart investments.”
The GCFC will be led by Mercedes Vela Monserrate as its Chief Executive Officer. Being the sustainability lead for ADGM and a key advisor to COP28, Monserrate brings a wealth of experience and expertise to lead the centre in its mission to drive global change in sustainable finance.
Mercedes Vela Monserrate said, “I am honoured to lead the Global Climate Finance Centre and contribute to the transformation of financial markets towards a greener and more sustainable future. Together with our global partners, we aim to create a positive legacy by making climate finance more accessible and facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy.”