Dubai, UAE: Standard Chartered announced today the launch of its latest research report titled “Just in Time: Financing a  just transition to net zero”, which looks at the transition financing gap for emerging markets and how to close it. According to the report, the United Arab Emirates will require AED2.5 trillion (USD 671.1 billion) to transition to net-zero.

The study found that: 

  • If the finance, the UAE needs to transition to net zero, is provided by developed markets, UAE household spending could increase by around AED 2 trillion (USD 551.2 billion) compared to self-financing
  • If emerging markets fund their own transition, without the contribution of developed markets, household consumption in these markets could fall by 5 per cent on average each year

The transition finance gap

While the UAE requires investment of around AED 2.5 trillion (USD 671.1 billion) to transition to net zero, Just in Time reveals that emerging markets as a whole need to invest an additional AED350 trillion (USD94.8 trillion) – a sum higher than annual global GDP – to transition to net zero in time to meet long-term global warming targets.  This is on top of the capital already allocated by governments under their current climate policies.

Private investors can contribute over AED300 trillion (USD83 trillion) of the AED350 trillion (USD94.8 trillion) that is required – underscoring the urgent need for financial institutions to fulfil green and transition finance pledges.


The transition finance gap by market


Investment (power)

Investment (energy efficiency including industry, transport, buildings)

Other public expenditure (early scrappage, heating subsidies)

Offset – (carbon tax revenues, household heating tax)

Transition finance gap:


USD21.9 trillion

USD30.2 trillion

USD2.3 trillion

USD19.2 trillion



USD8.5 trillion

USD6.0 trillion

USD573.3 billion

USD2.7 trillion

USD12.4 trillion


USD2.1 trillion

USD2.0 trillion

USD107.9 billion

USD1.4 trillion

USD2.7 trillion


USD220.7 billion

USD215.4 billion

USD40.8 billion

USD193.5 billion

USD283.3 billion

South Africa

USD445.5 billion

USD1.4 trillion

USD143.3 billion

USD1.2 trillion

USD833.6 billion


USD1.3 trillion

USD310.6 billion

USD129.1 billion

USD833.4 billion

USD909.9 billion


USD128.4 billion

USD285.1 billion

USD32.3 billion

USD32.2 billion

USD413.6 billion


USD680.1 billion

USD211.6 billion

USD28.2 billion

USD259.2 billion

USD671.1 billion

However, as shown in our previous report, The USD50 Trillion Question, encouraging investment in emerging markets is a difficult task. The world’s top 300 investment firms with total assets under management of more than USD50 trillion, have just 2 per cent, 3 per cent and 5 per cent of their investments in the Middle East, Africa and South America, respectively.

Just in Time argues that to transition in the fairest way possible, greater collaboration is required in strategy, policy, and financing.  More importantly, banks need to live up to the pledges made during COP26 if ordinary households are to avoid bearing the costs of their market’s transition to net-zero.

Closing the transition finance gap

Just in Time looks at two pathways to closing the emerging market transition finance gap, self-financing by emerging markets and developed market financing, where capital is provided through grants and loans.

Exclusive emerging market self-financing would lead to higher taxes and an increase in government borrowing, meaning that families in emerging markets, including the UAE, will have less to spend on their everyday needs. However, developed market financing has the opposite effect.

However, developed market financing could see emerging market household spending increase by around AED6.25 trillion (USD1.7 trillion) on average each year (compared to self-financing) and would also stimulate global growth – GDP could be around AED400 trillion (USD108.3 trillion) higher cumulatively between now and 2060 if developed markets finance the transition. Emerging markets being able to reach net-zero without hampering their growth or prosperity would represent a just transition.

Self-financing and developed market financing: The impact on household consumption


Household consumption (per cent) (annual average between 2021 and 2060)

Household consumption (annual average between 2021 and 2060)

Household consumption in total (2021 – 2060)

India (self- financing)


-USD143.9 billion

-USD5.8 trillion

India (developed market financing)


USD197.7 billion

USD7.9 trillion

Indonesia (self-financing)


-USD48.6 billion

-USD1.9 trillion

Indonesia (developed market financing)


USD55.6 billion

USD2.2 trillion

Nigeria (self-financing)


-USD8.3 billion

-USD335.1 billion

Nigeria (developed market financing)


USD5.4 billion

USD216.7 billion

South Africa (self-financing)


-USD7.1 billion

-USD281.8 billion

South Africa (developed market financing)


USD7.7 billion

USD311.1 billion

Malaysia (self-financing)


-USD26.5 billion

-USD1.1 trillion

Malaysia (developed market financing)


USD21.9 billion

USD878.0 billion

Kenya (self-financing)


-USD10.4 billion

-USD417.0 billion

Kenya (developed market financing)


USD6.2 billion

USD246.6 billion

UAE (self-financing)


-USD31.1 billion

-USD1.2 trillion

UAE (developed market financing)


USD13.8 billion

USD551.2 billion

Rola Abu Manneh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered UAE, said: “The UAE is well positioned to capitalise on the major economic opportunities offered by the path to net zero. Reaching this objective would require a strong focus on ensuring economic prosperity throughout the transition process in addition to a great deal of investment.”

She added: “The public and financial sectors need to come together to help facilitate the flow of investment into Net Zero. Failure to deliver transition finance could mean climate goals are missed, therefore triggering an environmental catastrophe.” 

Our approach to net zero

Standard Chartered has committed to reaching net zero in our financed emissions by 2050, with interim targets for the most carbon-intensive sectors by 2030.

We plan to mobilise more than AED1.1 trillion (USD300 billion) in green and transition finance by 2030 to support the transition to net zero in the markets we can home, supported by our own Transition Finance Framework.

We are accelerating new solutions, including through a new dedicated Transition Acceleration Team to support clients in high-emitting sectors


For further information please contact:
Khaled Abdulla
Director, Head of External Communications
Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing
Standard Chartered

View the independently verified Sustainable Finance Impact Report:

Standard Chartered

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