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Climate finance promises made in Paris are not being kept by rich countries: KAPSARC president

RIYADH: Countries with underdeveloped economies are not getting the support promised in the Paris Agreement because the richer countries are not keeping their promises, said the president of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.

Speaking during a discussion with the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Fahad Alajlan stressed the critical need for climate finance to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change and net zero emissions goals signed at COP 21 in 2015, saw countries with developed economies commit to channeling $100 billion a year by 2020 to help with the energy transition and frameworks to mitigate global warming — a commitment that, Alajlan pointed out, is not being honored.

“We need to address and recognize that we are short and need to do more on climate finance – this is vital,” he said, reflecting KAPSARC’s position as an advisory think tank in the field of global energy economics and sustainability, providing consultancy services to the Saudi energy sector.

Stressing the importance of private capital, Alajlan said multilateral development banks and donors had a key role to play in de-risking energy and infrastructure projects through equity investments to attract institutional investors.

Alajlan pointed out that energy transformation offers rapid opportunities for infrastructure and energy investment and circular carbon economy frameworks significantly reduce the need for new investment and infrastructure.

CCE advocates the reduction, recycling and reuse of carbon emissions in industrial processes, which are now familiar and accepted goals around the world as a means of mitigating harmful emissions.

At COP27, KAPSARC launched the second edition of the Circular Carbon Economy Index, a tool to compare how 64 countries are deploying various methods and technologies to reduce their CO2 emissions.

The CCE index covers 90% of the global economy and carbon emissions, according to a statement released by the think tank.

In the 2022 edition, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland lead the CCE index. At the bottom are five sub-Saharan African countries.

The gap between these top and bottom performers is notable, indicating that countries towards the end of the list in particular will need significant assistance to be able to successfully transition to CCEs.

When it comes to CCE performance, many countries have yet to deploy some of the most important technologies needed to achieve full carbon circularity.

Compared to last year’s CCE Index, 57 countries improved their total CCE Index scores in 2022, while seven saw their scores deteriorate.

Joining the KAPSARC-IEEJ discussion, which aimed to highlight the role of finance in achieving net-zero energy transition from an Asian perspective, IEEJ President Tatsuya Terazawa said that the event was the continuation of a memorandum of understanding his organization signed with KAPSARC in August to promote cooperation and research activity in several areas.

The IEEJ is an energy think tank in Japan that focuses on energy, economic and environmental issues, as well as the geopolitics of the Middle East.

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