IsDB to Establish ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ Hub in the Middle East

Lisbon, Portugal, May 03, 2018: The Islamic Development Bank today announced plans to create a world class renewable energy Hub for the Middle East, to be hosted at its Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

The IsDB signed a partnership with ‘Sustainable Energy for All’, a nonprofit international organisation established by the UN and World Bank, to create the new Hub which will support energy access, scale up renewable energy and enhance energy efficiency in the Middle East region.     

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) mandate is to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent climate warming above 2 degrees Celsius. 

The new Middle East Hub will raise awareness at the national and regional level of the challenges, constraints and opportunities available while achieving the three core objectives of SDG7:

  • Ensuring universal access to modern energy services
  • Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • Doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

The Hub will enable the exchange of ideas and technology transfer in renewable energy solutions, which has seen great advances in competitive prices and reliability in recent years. It will also work with governments and the private sector to boost energy efficiency in the commercial and residential sectors.

The Hub will assist fragile Middle East member states with energy access whilst developing plans for the reconstruction of its energy sector, leveraging the resources and synergies of SEforALL partners worldwide to boost energy access, scale up renewable energy and enhance energy efficiency in the region.  

The IsDB believes that science and technology are offering more solutions to issues like climate change than ever before, and by investing in these key areas, countries can give their people the tools to build a sustainable future. In February 2018, IsDB Group launched ENGAGE, an online ecosystem that connects scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs from all over the world. In April IsDB launched a US $500 million TRANSFORM Fund in April 2018, one of the largest funds of its kind, which will provide seed money for start-ups and SMEs to develop their ideas and facilitate the commercialization of technology among the IsDB’s member countries.

An IsDB spokesman said: “The IsDB believes in finding innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s greatest development challenges by bringing together the public and private sectors, innovators and entrepreneurs. So we are delighted to be supporting this important initiative to tackle climate change, a problem which impacts the lives of so many people in our member countries.”

Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Islamic Development Bank in addition to the UN system to develop an SEforALL Middle East Hub that will support faster progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7. Working together, the hub will provide a resource to countries as they manage their energy transitions. The countries served by the IsDB include some of the most advanced in their transitions and others who need policy, technology and financial support to pick up the pace of progress.”

The agreement was signed during the Sustainable Energy for All Forum held in Lisbon, Portugal, 2-3 May 2018, that was attended by more than 850 leaders from government, business, civil society and international organizations.