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COP28 Panel Discussion: Unlocking Climate Blended Finance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

Climate Finance Hub, Green Zone

Dec 2, 2023, 2:30-4:00 GST


The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region faces a critical juncture in sustainable development financing, particularly in pivotal sectors such as energy, agriculture, and water and sanitation. Despite the significant financial resources within the region, the utilization of blended finance remains disproportionately low. MENA has seen economic growth but still faces infrastructure deficits, high unemployment, and climate vulnerability. The region held over $3 trillion in sovereign wealth capital as of 2021, presenting vast potential for investment. However, to date, the MENA region has recorded only 76 blended finance deals, amounting to about $14 billion in total financing volume.

About the panel discussion
The session will explore:

  • How to utilize blended finance to mobilize capital for climate finance in MENA
  • What regulatory barriers may be inhibiting climate blended finance investments in MENA?
  • What are successful examples of innovative climate blended finance structures and instruments deployed to mitigate risks and mobilize private investments in other regions that can shed light on how to best replicate in MENA?
  • Given the enormous sovereign wealth capital in MENA, how can we best incentivize and encourage the use of this capital in a more catalytic manner?


2:30PM-2:35PMWelcoming Remarks by Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO, UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA)
2:35PM-2:40PMOpening Remarks by Joan Larrea, CEO, Convergence
2:40PM-3:10PMPanel Discussion 1. International practices, moderated by Joan Larrea, CEO, Convergence, and featuring panelists:

- Christian Deseglise, Group Head of Sustainable Infrastructure and Innovation, HSBC
- Dr. Jyotsna Puri, Associate Vice-President - Strategy and Knowledge Department, IFAD
- Amal-Lee Amin, Managing Director and Head Climate Change, British International Investment
- Nadia Boumeziout, Head of Sustainability and Information Governance, Zurich Insurance
- Carrie Walczak, Senior Advisor of Sustainability Strategy & Policy, FMO
3:10PM-3:40PMPanel Discussion 2. MENA regional perspectives, moderated by Joan Larrea, CEO, Convergence, featuring panelists:

- Yariv Cohen, CEO, Ignite Power
- Dr. Frannie Leautier, CEO, Southbridge Investments
- Ennis Rimawi, Managing Director, Catalyst
- Tarek Sherlala, Assistant Director-General, Financial Operations, OPEC Fund for International Development
3:40PM-3:55PMOpen Consultation, Joan Larrea, CEO, Convergence
3:55PM-4:00PMClosing Remarks & End of Discussion
Date And Time

Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (GMT+00:00)


Climate Finance Hub, Green Zone
Climate Finance Hub, Green Zone