Middle East investment in global green tech up nearly 200%: PwC

The funding amount is up from $1.8 billion invested in the previous 12 month period. Shutterstock.
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RIYADH: Global climate technology investment from the Middle East surged almost 200 percent to $5 billion in the year to the end of September 2023, a newly released has report revealed.

According to PwC’s Middle East Climate Tech report, those investments were utilized across a range of sectors and regions, especially in US, Asia and Europe, with Saudi Arabia alone accounting for over $3 billion of this spending.

The funding amount is up from $1.8 billion invested in the previous 12 month period.

“Climate tech innovation in the Middle East is being driven by some of the most dynamic entrepreneurs in our region, championing new technologies to accelerate the path to net zero,” Partner at Strategy& and Sustainability Leader at PwC Middle East Yahya Anouti said.

The report also highlighted that the increase in global investments comes amid an 84 percent year-on-year drop in funding for regional entrepreneurs, with just $152 million going to local companies.

Despite this, the report explains that businesses remain resilient in terms of addressing regional climate issues through innovation.

“While Middle East players are ramping up climate tech spending globally, they can do much more to fund and empower local entrepreneurs, who may represent the ‘missing link’ in their strategy,” Anouti said.

“We call for governments and corporations to play a vital role by establishing specialized funds and off-take agreements, fostering demand and reducing investment risks in the climate tech sector,” he added.

The report also sheds light on the major challenges for growth among climate tech innovators, which include complex regional legal and regulatory environments, funding limitations, and finding experienced talent.

“On a broader level, it’s also widely acknowledged that the region – much like the rest of the world – is facing a shortage of green skilled professionals with the training and knowledge to help develop some of the most-needed technologies – from environmental engineers to experts in advanced technologies like carbon capture,” Jon Blackburn, part of the Energy, Resources and Sustainability practice at PwC Middle East, explained.

“According to our Middle East CEO Survey published earlier this year, 35 percent of regional leaders have cited a lack of talent in specialized professions. This gap is further compounded by the intense competition for experienced hires,” Blackburn added.

Addressing common challenges regarding the sector will help propel interest in clean tech which is rooted in the fact that increasing pollution is not just adding to climate change but also worsening health concerns across the globe.