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COP28 launches program to support net zero strategies of SMEs

The initiative seeks to raise the role of SMEs and non-state actors in the climate process.

COP28 launches program to support net zero strategies of SMEs
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

As climate change worsens, it is clear that everyone—including small and medium enterprises (SMEs)—will need to take action and play their part to combat the effects. 

SMEs comprise millions of businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). When they go green, they send strong messages of change to their suppliers, customers, and local neighborhoods.

To support SMEs in the MENA region and enable them to implement net zero strategies, the COP28 presidency launched a program called COP28 & SME Climate Hub for MENA. The SME Climate Hub will be available in Arabia for the first time.

The program, with Masdar, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and the Abu Dhabi Chamber, will help businesses with under 500 employees form their climate commitments that are globally recognized and to be included in the United Nations Race to Zero campaign.

It will equip SMEs with the tools and resources to implement emission reduction strategies across their businesses. They will also be influenced to report yearly on their progress to keep track and look towards achieving net zero by 2050 or before. 

Adnan Amin, CEO of COP28, said that SMEs play an integral role in the collective efforts to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. “SMEs comprise up to 90% of all businesses in the Middle East and North Africa, hence they form a major part of the region’s economy and have an integral role to play in accelerating MENA’s transition to net zero,” he adds.

María Mendiluce, CEO of We Mean Business Coalition, a founding partner of the SME Climate Hub, said, “Through this expansion, the SME Climate Hub will mobilize small and medium-sized businesses to take climate action and help build more resilient companies and communities in the MENA region.”

After COP28, Masdar, with the support of First Abu Dhabi Bank, will lead the recruitment of firms to the SME Climate Hub for MENA to ensure continued support for regional firms.

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