SME Climate Hub partners with the COP28 Presidency to help businesses in the Middle East and North Africa reduce emissions

  • The SME Climate Hub provides small and medium-sized enterprises with free resources to help reduce emissions. 
  • By making the SME Climate Commitment, businesses are counted in the United Nations’-backed Race to Zero campaign.
  • The SME Climate Hub is now available in Arabic for the first time.  

New York, NY – October 3, 2023: The COP28 Presidency in collaboration with the SME Climate Hub and We Mean Business Coalition, have launched a campaign to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) implement net-zero strategies. COP28 & SME Climate Hub for MENA was developed to elevate the role of SMEs in the climate process and has made the SME Climate Hub available in Arabic. Through the collaboration with the COP28 Presidency, the SME Climate Hub will expand its reach in the MENA region, which relies on the resilience of its SMEs. 

Launched in partnership with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company – Masdar and supported by First Abu Dhabi Bank and the Abu Dhabi Chamber, COP28 & SME Climate Hub for MENA will help businesses with under 500 employees make a globally recognized climate commitment and be counted in the United Nations-backed Race to Zero campaign. It will also provide access to free tools and resources which will allow SMEs to implement emissions reduction strategies across their businesses. 

H.E. Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative, COP28, said, “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. Expanding the SME Climate Hub’s regionalization in MENA will help us to deliver the most inclusive COP to date, support SMEs with their climate goals and ensure they are a vital part of our collective efforts to keep 1.5C within reach.” 

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, COP28, said: “Climate action is an all-of-society mandate and endeavor. Businesses of all sizes are essential in accelerating our green transition to a net-zero, nature-positive future. At the same time, a robust climate strategy benefits companies by unlocking growth opportunities and future-proofing their businesses. The MENA SME Climate Hub will be a turning point for small and medium-sized businesses in the region to commit to a recognized climate goal, access practical tools and resources, and build business resilience.” 

The SME Climate Hub was founded by the We Mean Business Coalition, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign to provide tools and resources for SMEs to make a globally recognized climate commitment, take positive action, and measure their progress towards emissions reductions. Businesses which join the SME Climate Hub community officially commit to halving emissions by 2030, becoming net zero before 2050, and reporting on their progress yearly. 

By cutting emissions, businesses have the opportunity to lower production costs, increase efficiency, and gain greater access to capital and markets with environmental demands and regulations. Over 6,800 SMEs across 127 different countries have already made the commitment, with a growing number from the MENA region. 

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 in MENA to take climate action and help build more resilient companies and communities in the region. At COP28, the We Mean Business Coalition will host the Business Pavilion for Climate Leadership to ensure companies large and small are at the forefront of these crucial discussions in Dubai. We look forward to working with the COP28 Presidency and partners across business and government to drive the transformative change needed to tackle the climate crisis.” 

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

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said, “SMEs will play a vital role in ensuring that countries across the Middle East achieve their net zero targets. As the UAE’s global clean energy pioneer, Masdar is dedicated to accelerating the energy transition at home and abroad. We are proud to be partnered with the SME Climate Hub and committed to leveraging our resources and networks to support SMEs in the UAE and across the region to reduce emissions, for a cleaner and greener future for all.” 

Hana Al Rostamani, Group Chief Executive Officer of First Abu Dhabi Bank, said, “Integrating businesses into the net zero transition is fundamental to achieving global climate goals, and SMEs must be part of this effort. The COP28 and SME Climate Hub platform allows us to bring SMEs into the center of climate action and provides them with opportunities for growth in a low-carbon future.” 

For more information on the COP28 & SME Climate Hub for MENA and to make a climate commitment, please visit  

COP28 will begin on 30 November in the UAE with a fortnight of negotiations, opening with commitments from global leaders, bringing forward solutions, and concluding with an agreed negotiated text that helps course-correct to keep 1.5°C within reach and enhance global resilience. The Presidency’s key focus areas are fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030; transforming climate finance, by delivering on old promises and setting the framework for a new deal on finance; putting nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action and mobilizing for the most inclusive COP ever. 


About COP28 UAE 

  • COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30-December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.   
  • As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.   
  • The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action. 

About the SME Climate Hub 

The SME Climate Hub is an initiative of the We Mean Business Coalition, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. In collaboration with Normative and the Net Zero team at Oxford University, the SME Climate Hub provides tools and resources to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make a climate commitment, take action and measure their progress towards emissions reductions in line with the latest science.   

About the We Mean Business Coalition: 

We Mean Business Coalition works with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The Coalition is a group of seven nonprofit organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, Climate Group, CLG Europe, The B Team and WBCSD. Together, we catalyze business and policy action to halve emissions by 2030 and accelerate an inclusive transition to a net-zero economy. Find out more at 

About Masdar 

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is the UAE’s clean energy champion and one of the largest companies of its kind in the world, advancing the development and deployment of renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies to address global sustainability challenges. Established in 2006, Masdar is today active in over 40 countries, helping them to achieve their clean energy objectives and advance sustainable development. Masdar is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), and under this ownership the company is targeting a renewable energy portfolio capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and an annual green hydrogen production capacity of up to 1 million tonnes by the same year. 


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About First Abu Dhabi Bank 

FAB is the UAE’s largest bank with an international network that spans five continents, providing global relationships, expertise and financial strength to support local, regional and international businesses seeking to do business at home and abroad. FAB is consistently ranked one of the world’s largest, safest and most socially responsible banks. A global bank and regional banking powerhouse, FAB is established in 20 markets from the Americas to Asia, and is known for consistently delivering results, generating returns and creating value.  

FAB is proactively shaping the future with purposeful action for sustainable growth.  With total assets of AED 1.1 Trillion (USD 312 Billion) as of June-end 2023, FAB is rated Aa3/AA-/AA- by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch, respectively – the strongest combined ratings of any bank in the MENA region. FAB was named the UAE’s most valuable banking brand in the 2023 Brand Finance UAE 50 and Brand Finance Banking 500 rankings. The Bank has been ranked by Global Finance as the Safest Bank in the UAE and the Middle East since 2011, and #31 Safest Bank globally in 2022. The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks 2022 rankings, measured by Tier 1 capital, ranked FAB as #2 in the UAE, #5 in the Middle East and #90 across the globe. FAB is also a regional sustainability leader (MSCI ESG rating of ‘A’), and a constituent of MSCI ESG Leaders and FTSE4Good EM indices. 

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