IRENA at MENA Climate Week 2022

The Regional Climate Weeks provide a platform for governments, cities, private sector leaders, financial institutions and civil society to discuss opportunities to build forward from the pandemic by identifying opportunities to enhance climate action. The Climate Weeks are organised by the core partners: UNDP, UNEP, UNFCCC, and World Bank. IRENA has been participating in Regional Climate Weeks since 2019 and has found them very valuable to connect with regional stakeholders learn of work on the ground.

The first Regional Climate Week for the Middle East and North Africa (MENACW2022), hosted by the government of the UAE, took place 28-31 March 2022 in Dubai. MENACW will accelerate collaboration and integrate climate action into global recovery. MENACW offers a very important opportunity, not only as the first in the region, but as the region will host the next two COPs (COP27 in Egypt and COP28 in UAE).

MENACW was hosted by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the World Green Economy Organization in collaboration with global partners UNFCCC, UNDP, UNEP, and World Bank Group, as well as regional partners League of Arab States, IsDB, IRENA, and UN-ESCWA.

For more information about MENACW, please visit the official website.


IRENA is co-organising the following sessions:


Catalysing Concerted Action on the Ground towards Achieving the Global Energy Transition

Monday, 28 March, 17:00 – 18:30 GST

The event was organised by IRENA and UNDP in the form of a high-level discussion focused on the IRENA-UNDP partnership and its purpose to scale up both project facilitation globally and the flow of renewable energy (RE) investment towards countries of the region. Speakers from IRENA and UNDP were joined by a government representatives from the region and beyond to discuss the identified priorities in the joint IRENA-UNDP work programme.

As hosts of the upcoming COP27 and COP28 respectively, speakers from Egypt and the UAE also provided their perspectives on the importance of cross-border collaboration and regional efforts to further the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. To complement this discussion, the League of Arab States was well-positioned to highlight the opportunities and challenges of the energy transition in the MENA region.

As initial beneficiary countries from the ongoing IRENA-UNDP country support activities, representatives from Algeria and Somalia, in addition to Egypt, provided insights concerning the type of support they need to catalyse the energy transition further in their respective countries and how the IRENA-UNDP partnership could cater to these needs.


Enabling Frameworks to Accelerate the Energy Transition

Tuesday, 29 March 11:00 – 12:30 GST

Organised by IRENA, World Bank, and Global Wind Energy Council, this session outlined the need for policy ambition and enabling regulation in the power sector to mobilise large-scale private sector investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region. It provided a space for public and private stakeholders in the region to discuss what is needed for countries to implement enabling frameworks and make energy system investments that accelerate their respective energy transition.


Renewable Energy Driving Climate Action towards Net-zero in 2050 across the MENA Region

Tuesday, 29 March 12:00 – 13:00 GST

This event presented the latest findings on the energy transition, drawing from IRENA’s flagship publication World Energy Transitions Outlook: 1.5°C Pathway (2021 edition) and contextualise it to the MENA context. Further, it showcased the many options that MENA governments have to help them navigate an energy transition by exploring existing technology and innovation solutions for implementing mitigation and adaptation measures. This event also aimed to bring MENA countries together through presenting WETO analysis on just transition to leave no one behind and to strengthen the international flow of finance, capacity and technologies.

Building on these insights, representatives from MENA governments provided insights into the work being done in their respective countries to achieve the proposed climate action goals, as well as showcase examples of new patterns of socio-economic development achieved through prioritisation of renewable energy development.

A panel discussed current initiatives, as well as outline the main achievements and challenges encountered in the MENA context and identify key opportunities for incorporating development needs to achieve low-carbon climate safe energy systems. Participants also heard from international organisations that help advise and assist countries in implementing their NDCs and LTS.


Technology Options for a Just and Inclusive Energy Transition

Thursday, 31 March, 9:00 – 10:30 GST

Organised by IRENA, UNEP, UNFCCC, UN ESCWA, IEA, SEforALL, and We Mean Business this session explored how energy transition technologies, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related infrastructure, can accelerate the energy transition in the MENA region and decrease GHG and methane emissions, providing socio-economic benefits, such as jobs, increased GDP, energy access, energy security, equity and social inclusion, health, and well-being and showcase the partnership opportunities to implement energy transition technologies in MENA region and beyond.


Collaborations and Partnerships to Accelerate a Just and Inclusive Energy Transition

Thursday, 31 March 11:00 – 12:30 GST

Organised by IRENA, UNEP, UNFCCC, UN ESCWA, IEA, SEforALL, and We Mean Business, this session highlighted the importance of increased collaboration and partnerships, including South-South cooperation, in supporting the implementation of energy commitments and pledges made at the HLDE and COP26, for example, in order to build momentum with concrete progress by COP27; highlight the importance of viewing the energy transition in a holistic manner, enhancing synergies among other sectors; and identify key partnerships, measures and policy reforms that can be implemented at national and regional levels to ensure that the energy transition is just and inclusive.