In a monumental stride towards a sustainable future, the World Economic Forum has orchestrated a transformative alliance, the Network to Mobilize Clean Energy Investment for the Global South. With over 20 influential CEOs and government ministers hailing from diverse countries such as Colombia, Egypt, India, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Kenya, and South Africa, this strategic collaboration is poised to usher in a new era of clean energy investment. The alliance aims to accelerate clean energy capital solutions, addressing policy challenges, fostering innovative business models, developing de-risking tools, and revolutionizing finance mechanisms.

The Urgency of Clean Energy Investment:

A recent report by the World Economic Forum, titled “Building Trust through an Equitable and Inclusive Energy Transition,” sheds light on the critical need to triple the annual investment in clean energy in the Global South. The current investment of $770 billion must escalate to a staggering $2.2 trillion to $2.8 trillion by the early 2030s. While there has been a commendable increase in clean energy spending, the distribution remains highly skewed, with over 90% of investment growth since 2021 concentrated in advanced economies and China.

Roberto Bocca, the distinguished head of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Energy and Materials, emphasizes the imperative nature of accelerating the clean energy transition. He states, “Unlocking this financing today is not only a key first step towards a secure and equitable energy system tomorrow but represents a clear opportunity for businesses, as emerging economies account for the lion’s share of the global population.”

The Alliance’s Strategic Approach:

The Network to Mobilize Clean Energy Investment for the Global South is not merely a symbolic gathering; it is a concerted effort to catalyze change on a global scale. The alliance’s strategic approach encompasses a multi-faceted plan to overcome the challenges hindering clean energy investments in developing nations.

  1. Policy Reformation:
  2. The alliance recognizes the pivotal role of policies in shaping the clean energy landscape. By collaborating with governments across participating nations, the alliance aims to advocate for policy reforms that incentivize and facilitate clean energy investments. These reforms may include streamlined permitting processes, tax incentives, and regulatory frameworks that foster a conducive environment for investors.
  3. Business Model Innovation:
  4. Traditional business models often fall short in addressing the unique challenges of clean energy projects in emerging markets. The alliance seeks to foster innovation in business models, encouraging approaches that not only make economic sense but also address the specific needs and challenges of developing countries. This may involve novel financing structures, collaborative ventures, and risk-sharing mechanisms.
  5. De-risking Tools Development:
  6. Recognizing the perceived high risks associated with investments in emerging markets, the alliance aims to develop and promote de-risking tools. These tools are designed to provide investors with the confidence and security needed to channel funds into clean energy projects. From political risk insurance to innovative financial instruments, the goal is to create a robust ecosystem that attracts investments while mitigating potential risks.
  7. Finance Mechanism Revolution:
  8. The traditional financing mechanisms may not be well-suited for the dynamic landscape of clean energy investments in the Global South. The alliance is committed to revolutionizing finance mechanisms, exploring avenues such as green bonds, impact investing, and public-private partnerships. This diversification aims to provide a range of financial instruments that cater to the diverse needs of clean energy projects in different regions.

Unlocking Economic Potential:

Beyond the immediate goal of promoting clean energy, the alliance has a broader vision—unlocking the vast economic potential in developing countries and emerging markets. This dual approach not only mitigates risks associated with investing in emerging markets but also ensures sustainable growth. Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of the Africa Finance Corporation and co-chair of the alliance, emphasized this point, stating, “Mobilizing investment for the energy transition is now more urgent. It is time for us to shift the narrative surrounding the financing of clean energy in the Global South from an aid case to a viable investment opportunity, without which we will not reach global net zero.”

The Economic Potential of Clean Energy:

Clean energy investments have the potential to catalyze economic growth in developing nations. The deployment of renewable energy infrastructure can create jobs, spur technological innovation, and enhance energy security. The alliance recognizes this dual opportunity the chance to address the immediate need for clean energy and the potential to transform economies in the long term.

  1. Job Creation:
  2. Clean energy projects, such as solar and wind farms, require a skilled workforce for installation, operation, and maintenance. By investing in clean energy, developing countries can stimulate job creation and provide employment opportunities for their burgeoning populations. This not only addresses immediate economic challenges but also contributes to sustainable development.
  3. Technological Innovation:
  4. Clean energy investments often drive technological innovation. As countries transition to renewable energy sources, there is a growing need for advancements in energy storage, grid management, and efficiency technologies. The alliance aims to facilitate knowledge transfer and collaboration, ensuring that emerging markets have access to the latest innovations in clean energy technology.
  5. Energy Security:
  6. Dependence on traditional fossil fuels poses significant risks to energy security. By investing in clean energy infrastructure, nations can diversify their energy sources, reducing vulnerability to geopolitical and market fluctuations. This enhances energy security and contributes to the overall stability of developing economies.

Changing the Narrative:

Samaila Zubairu’s call to shift the narrative surrounding clean energy financing is a crucial aspect of the alliance’s mission. Historically, there has been a perception of high risk associated with investments in emerging markets, particularly in Africa. However, Zubairu argues that there is no shortage of de-risking instruments and bankable projects in these regions. The alliance aims to challenge this perception and highlight the untapped potential for profitable returns and meaningful development impact.

  1. Debunking Perceived Risks:
  2. The perception of high risk has been a deterrent for many investors considering opportunities in emerging markets. However, the alliance aims to debunk this perception by showcasing successful projects, highlighting the effectiveness of de-risking instruments, and emphasizing the potential for lucrative returns. By changing the narrative, the alliance seeks to attract a more diverse range of investors willing to explore clean energy opportunities in the Global South.
  3. Shifting from Aid to Investment:
  4. One of the fundamental shifts advocated by the alliance is moving away from viewing clean energy financing in the Global South as mere aid. Instead, the emphasis is on positioning it as a viable investment opportunity. This shift in perspective is not only essential for attracting private investments but also aligns with the broader global goal of achieving net-zero emissions. Sustainable development, driven by private sector investments, becomes a shared responsibility and opportunity for businesses and governments alike.

The Role of Leadership:

The success of the Network to Mobilize Clean Energy Investment for the Global South hinges on the leadership provided by its members. With CEOs and government ministers actively participating, the alliance has the potential to influence policies, drive innovation, and mobilize resources at a scale that can make a tangible impact.

  1. Government Leadership: Government ministers from participating nations play a pivotal role in shaping policies that create an enabling environment for clean energy investments. Their commitment to policy reforms, regulatory clarity, and international collaboration can pave the way for a sustainable and inclusive energy transition.
  2. Corporate Leadership: CEOs of major corporations bring not only financial resources but also strategic vision to the alliance. Their commitment to sustainable business practices and clean energy investments can set a precedent for other businesses, creating a ripple effect across industries. The alliance provides a platform for corporate leaders to collaborate, share best practices, and collectively drive change.
  3. Collaborative Governance:The alliance operates on the principles of collaborative governance, recognizing that the challenges of clean energy investment are complex and interconnected. By fostering collaboration between government and corporate leaders, the alliance aims to create a governance model that is responsive to the dynamic needs of the Global South.


As the Network to Mobilize Clean Energy Investment for the Global South takes center stage, it marks a pivotal moment in addressing the global climate emergency. This alliance, with its diverse and influential members, is poised to reshape the narrative around clean energy financing. The urgent call to triple investments aligns with the need for a secure and equitable energy system. Through collaboration, innovation, and a collective shift in perspective, this alliance strives to be a driving force in achieving global net zero and fostering sustainable development across the world. The strategic approach, economic potential, and leadership role all converge to create a comprehensive framework for catalyzing change and ushering in a new era of clean energy investment in the Global South.