Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that Africa is working to find and activate initiatives and financing solutions that suit the economic situation of its countries and its priorities for climate and development action.
During his participation in Africa Business Leaders Coalition meeting, within the events of Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Mohieldin explained that Africa is working to activate debt reduction mechanisms and debt swaps for investment in nature and climate.
The African Carbon Markets Initiative was also launched to keep pace with launching and operating this market and benefit from it not only in achieving energy transition and reducing emissions, but also to achieve the goals of adaptation to climate change and dealing with losses and damage caused by it.
Mohieldin highlighted the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects in Egypt, which aimed at localizing climate and development action with the participation of all local parties with different size of capital by identifying six categories of projects, including large, small and medium-sized projects, as well as enhancing community participation through women and youth projects, startups and non-profit entities.
Mohieldin stressed the importance of African countries to adopt a holistic approach that places the whole aspects of climate action in a more comprehensive framework that aims to achieve sustainable development goals as a whole, and treating climate finance as a development finance, not a substitute for it.
Mohieldin confirmed the need for the private sector to be part of the solution and implementation with regard to financing climate and development action in developing countries, through public-private partnerships that allow the private one to participate more in financing and implementing projects, with the adopting criteria for the governance of environmental and social practices of companies and the private sector in line with the recommendations of the report of high-level experts issued as mandated by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and other relevant international reports.
He pointed out to the document of the UN Secretary-General on accelerating the financing and implementation of climate action, which recommended the need to focus on reducing debt, enhancing private sector participation, and finding appropriate financing to deal with losses and damage resulting from climate change through the activation of the Loss and Damage Fund launched during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.
Mohieldin stated that the global financing system needs to be reformed so that the laws and working mechanisms of international financial institutions and multilateral development banks keep pace with today’s world developments, explaining that this reform should give developing countries and emerging markets more space in policy and decision-making, and should take more into account the priorities of these countries and markets.
He stated that this reform must provide developing countries with fair, sufficient and efficient financing that helps them implement their climate and development action, and it must include setting new concessional finance policies that allow middle-income countries to benefit from it along with low-income countries.
The climate champion said that the initiative of the Five Regional Forums launched by the Egyptian presidency of COP27 in cooperation with the UN regional economic commissions and HLCs last year aimed to find bankable, investable and implementable developmental climate projects, adding that the first edition of the five forums discussed about 400 projects and resulted in 120 implementable projects, fifty of which were presented during the Sharm El Sheikh conference.
He added that this year’s edition of the initiative, which is organized with the participation of the UAE presidency of COP28, aims to link the projects reached in the first edition with various financing and investment entities in order to start implementing these projects immediately.