President Al Jasser Addresses OPEC Fund Development Forum 2022, Underlines Access to Energy Security and Climate-Friendly Energy

Vienna, Austria, 20 June 2022 – Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, says that the current global events have resulted in changing some of the priorities in the development plans highlighting the urgent need to ensure energy and food security as duly addressed by IsDB Member countries during the IsDB Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings held in Egypt 1-4 June 2022.

President Al Jasser made the remarks while he made a keynote speech at a panel on ‘Innovation that Enables a Smart Energy Future’ during the OPEC FUND DEVELOPMENT FORUM 2022 in Vienna, Austria.

He reassured the audience that as a key partner to the OPEC FUND and the Arab Coordination Group (ACG), the IsDB Group will continue cooperating with all partners and stakeholders to address the current critical situation in the energy market while staying focused on the issue of taking action to tackle climate change. “IsDB Group will keep working on achieving its climate finance target of 35% by 2025 and at the same time address energy security and support renewable energies. Energy efficiency is also one of the main priorities of the Bank’s energy sector policy,” Dr. Al Jasser added.

Reiterating that most IsDB Group member countries are blessed with abundant untapped resources to produce environmentally friendly energy, Dr. Al Jasser invited all OPEC FUND and ACG partners to further build on their excellent cooperation on financing mega projects in various sectors under the ACG umbrella, to address the enormous energy needs of IsDB Group member countries through innovative and environmentally friendly solutions. 

He then told the participants that access to climate-friendly energy is a key driver of IsDB member countries’ socio-economic development and the IsDB Group has so far provided more than US$64 billion of financing for the development of the energy sector in its 57-member countries; nearly 41 percent and the biggest portion of its total financing.

Elaborating on how IsDB has updated its energy sector policy in 2019 in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – affordable and clean energy for all – Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser stated that the Bank has been promoting the development of energy efficiency programs in its energy sector policy in its member countries, especially in its least developed member countries (LDMCs).

Elsewhere in his remarks, the IsDB President stated that the current global events have resulted in hikes in energy prices. “There is a need to cooperate and devise a global action plan to help the affected countries build resilience and improve their ability to face these challenges,” he underlined.

According to the IsDB Group Chairman, the Bank has been developing innovative financing instruments to help mobilize more financial resources for the member countries. It successfully issued a EUR 1 billion Green Sukuk in 2019 and a US$ 2.5 billion Sustainability Sukuk in 2021, the largest of their kind to contribute to meeting part of the member countries' development needs.

In addition, the Bank Group is designing de-risking mechanisms for the private sector, such as providing financing guarantees.

Blended finance also facilitates IsDB Group member countries’ access to soft/concessional funding. For instance, the Bank has cooperated with global development partners in establishing a US$2.5 billion Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) to jointly lift the poorest out of poverty in IsDB member countries. LLF is the largest development initiative in the region serving 33 IsDB Member Countries, and as IsDB President puts it, similar funds would help address the current energy and food security crisis, especially in the LDMCs.

Other panelists of the session were IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera; IFC Vice President, Ms. Hela Cheikhrouhou; ACWA Power Chief Investment Officer, Mr. Clive Turton; Kosovo’s Minister of Finance, H.E. Mr. Hekuran Murati; and ADB D.G. Central and West Africa, Mr. Eugene Zhukov.