COP28 host the United Arab Emirates will pump $4.5bn of investment into Africa to help it “jumpstart” renewable energy development and add 15GW of clean power by 2030.

The UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the president of COP28, announced the scheme today at the inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.

The money will be provided by Abu Dhabi’s clean-energy company Masdar, which Al Jaber also chairs, as well as the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Etihad Credit Insurance and Dubai-based renewable energy company AMEA Power.

Al Jaber said the money will catalyse at least an additional $12.5bn from “multilateral, public and private sources.”

“Africa is demonstrating the political will and determination to transition to a climate resilient future,” said Al Jaber. “But one essential element that can unlock Africa’s potential is missing, and that is available, accessible and affordable finance.”

Africa contributes just 3% of carbon emissions but “suffers some of the worst consequences,” including droughts, floods and failed harvests, he said.

The African Development Bank said that $250bn is needed annually to meet Africa’s climate finance needs but is getting just 12% of that amount, said Al Jaber, with just 2% going to adaptation. “We can all agree that this is neither just or equitable,” he added.

“It simply makes sense for Africa to get a fairer share of climate finance.”

He said the money pledged would help “jumpstart a pipeline of bankable clean energy projects” on the continent and “unlock Africa’s capacity for sustainable excellency.”

The initiative will target counties with “clear transition plans” and “robust regulatory frameworks,” he added, stressing the need to turn “rhetoric into real results” and “pledges into tangible projects on the ground.”

“Climate change is a global fight and it demands a global solution. If Africa loses, we all lose. And if Africa succeeds, we all succeed. Progress for one, is progress for all,” he said.

Al Jaber has not been without controversy in his role as COP28 president given he is the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. A hundred members of the US Congress and European Parliament previously asked for him to be stripped of the COP28 position.

The International Renewable Energy Agency has said that Africa’s installed renewable energy capacity is set to grow to more than 530GW by 2040, from about 54GW in 2020.