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Climate finance for the Middle East and North Africa: confronting the challenges of climate change

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Smita Nakhooda, Alice Caravani, Prachi Seth

Responding to climate change presents challenges for the oil producing and water stressed countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but also opportunities to forge new paths to more inclusive and effective development.

This brief considers the scope and objectives of dedicated international public finance directed to the region, drawing on Climate Funds Update data. It finds that most international public climate finance has been directed to a small number of large projects in Egypt and Morocco using concessional loans. These two countries receive 80% of total approved climate finance in the region, largely from the World Bank administered Clean Technology Fund. No climate finance has been directed to the richest fossil fuel exporters in the region such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Although good examples of adaptation projects are emerging (largely focused on water management, agriculture and rural development), adaptation remains gravely underfunded. Nevertheless, there is an increasing level of activity on climate change –notably investment in renewable energy—largely supported with domestic and private sector finance.

As the host of the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, Qatar has a unique opportunity to play a leadership role in global efforts to respond to climate change.

Smita Nakhooda, Alice Caravani and Prachi Seth, ODI and Liane Schalatek, Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America