UNIDO at COP28: forging agreements and partnerships



The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - known as COP28 - got off to a positive start. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) delegation, led by Director General Gerd Müller, forged agreements and partnerships with a series of high-level country representatives and leaders of key organizations.


01. Two Global Initiatives Announced with Germany


The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and UNIDO also announced two global initiatives that will enable more developing countries to transform their heavy industries to climate neutrality by 2050. Germany has committed to provide EUR 23 million in seed funding for the Partnership for Net Zero Industry and the Global Matchmaking Platform via its International Climate Initiative (IKI). Both initiatives are part of the new Climate Club, officially launched at COP28 by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.


02. IDDI's Green Public Procurement Pledge

The governments of Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US, member countries of the UNIDO-led Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI), pledged to adopt time-bound commitments to procure low-emission steel, cement, and concrete. The commitments were made through IDDI’s Green Public Procurement Pledge. The governments of Austria, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also endorsed the Green Procurement Pledge Statement of Intent.


03. The First Ministerial Meeting of IHTF

The Director General participated in the first ministerial meeting of the International Hydrogen Trade Forum (IHTF) where Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, committed the UAE to facilitating hydrogen exports at equitable prices. Green hydrogen creates huge opportunities for clean energy for the world at large. With a high demand for energy in industrialized countries, UNIDO stresses the need to create win-win situations for both developing and industrial countries.


04. Cooperation Agreement with OPEC Fund of International Development

Together with Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, CEO of the OPEC Fund for International Development, and Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, Müller signed a cooperation agreement concerning the governance of the Climate Finance and Energy Innovation Hub, which aims to mobilize capital for sustainable energy investments.


05. Meet with Head of the Adaptation Fund

UNIDO’s Director General Gerd Müller met with Mikko Ollikainen, head of the Adaptation Fund, which finances projects and programs that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change. The first UNIDO project financed by the Adaptation Fund helps small and medium-sized enterprises to deploy innovative adaptation solutions.


06. Discussion with GCF on RISA

On the margins of the COP, UNIDO's Müller also met Mafalda Duarte, head of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and discussed UNIDO’s first GCF-funded project - Resilient Investment in Southern Africa (RISA) - which promotes the climate adaptive capacity of agricultural value chains.


07. The Launch of World Industrial Day

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) a joint initiative of UNIDO and the UAE, in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), announced the launch of the World Industrial Day to mark the commitment to advance sustainable and inclusive industrialization for economic growth that will benefit all while preserving the environment and the climate. GMIS also unveiled a new climate action initiative to support climate-tech start-ups and innovators worldwide. 


08. Joint Declaration with ITFC

Director General Müller and Hani Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, signed a joint declaration to increase cooperation on trade promotion, sustainable value chains and access to finance for sustainable industrial transition.


09. Meeting of the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET)

On his last day in Dubai, Müller joined a meeting of the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET), which advises the UN Secretary-General, and which is co-hosted by UNIDO, together with Jeffrey Sachs of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


10. UNIDO-GEF Initiative

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched a project at COP28 to share lessons from recent investments in climate resilience and to identify strategies that can boost successful adaptation measures involving the private sector. The new initiative will tap the experiences of winners of the GEF Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation and develop a learning strategy to help exchange knowledge and experiences in this field.