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World Bank Highlights Opportunities for Carbon Finance in Arab Countries

19 January 2011: Speaking at the Second Arab Economic, Social and Developmental Summit, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Managing Director, highlighted the potential of the Arab region in the renewable energy sector.

He explained that the World Bank and International Finance Corportaion (IFC), together with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other partners, are supporting the scaling-up of renewable energy sources with emphasis on concentrated solar power (CSP) in the Arab world. He noted that with the Governments of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, the Bank has put together a US$5.6 billion investment plan for CSP generation and interconnection projects, and provided US$750 million of highly concessional support from the Clean Technology Fund, to be complemented by other private and public financing.

Mohieldin then cited the example of Morocco, which has launched the largest solar power plant project in the world, noting that CSP provides a major opportunity for green jobs in Arab countries. Reflecting on the outcomes of the Cancun Climate Change Conference, he stated that the Arab world "can look forward to taking a leadership role in climate change." He added that the “Green Fund,” which was announced in Cancun with the World Bank as the interim trustee, will open up important opportunities for the Arab world, and highlighted its potential to: accelerate climate change adaptation and mitigation; and address problems related to water resource management problems, infrastructure, food security, and agricultural development.

He underlined that Qatar's offer to host climate change negotiations in 2012 presents the Arab World with an opportunity to play a key role in global climate change diplomacy. [World Bank Press Release]