BY Shaban Hadia
Dr.Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that the second edition of the Five Regional Roundtables, organized by Egypt and UAE presidencies of COP27 and COP28 respectively in cooperation with UN regional economic commissions and UN HLCs, aims to mobilize required finance for climate projects presented in the first edition of the forums in the five UN economic regions.
This came during his participation in the opening session of the second edition of ESCAP Forum on “Financing Opportunities to Accelerate Climate Action and Advance the SDGs”, Organised by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in partnership with the COP27 and COP28 Presidencies and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, with the participation of Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, Special Representative of COP27 President, and Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Mohieldin noted that this year’s edition of the Five Regional Roundtables aims to hold a dialogue between all stakeholders on how to overcome hurdles in building and implementing the project pipeline in developing countries, promoting financing opportunities for projects that are most ‘financier-ready’ through connecting projects proponents to prospective financiers, building partnerships for technical assistance for project proponents to enable them to develop their projects to a stage where they can confidently engage with prospective financiers, and continue building a project pipeline supporting climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience, and nature.
Mohieldin stated that the first edition of the forums had more than 1,000 participants, and discussed more than 400 projects shortlisted to 128 projects around the globe needing $128 billion, with 7 deals almost closed, mainly in Africa.
He highlighted the Assets to Flows Report launched by the HLCs, which include key takeaways from last year’s forums, including what is needed to mobilize and scale private finance, and a factsheet of financing tools needed by project proponents.
Regarding the priorities of financing climate and development action in 2023, Mohieldin stressed the urgent need of IFIs and MDBs financing systems to be reformed in order to promote and mobilize private finance, the necessity of providing funds to implement Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, and the importance of dealing with debt issues in the developing countries through setting new concessional financing policies that allow low- and middle-income countries to benefit from it, as well as the need to support Sustainable Debt Coalition goals for facilitating transition to green economy and catalyzing investment in environmental and climate action.
“Towards COP28, we are looking to close 10-15 deals in total across 5 regions. We are engaging with project proponents to support them in meeting financier needs, and engaging with financiers to encourage them to review the opportunities.” Mohieldin said, adding that the first edition of ESCAP reached five promising projects, while this year’s edition will link the owners of these projects to 5-10 financiers.
Mohieldin stressed the importance of Improving the finance policy and regulatory environment to support more significant inflows of finance, particularly in mobilizing private finance and the use of sustainable financial instruments. He also confirmed the necessity of supporting project proponents in its early stages so that they can attract investors and financiers.
Mohieldin asked financiers and investors to open their eyes more to the promising opportunities available across different climate action projects including mitigation, adaptation and nature.