Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, stressed that lack of awareness about climate change threats could hinder actual implementation of climate action, pointing to the importance of raising climate awareness.
Mohieldin’s remarks came during his participation in the “Opening session of Solutions Day” at COP27, with the participation of Ambassador Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Hala Al-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Annalena Baerbock, German Foreign Minister, and Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action.
“Changing thoughts and behaviors, from decision-makers to ordinary citizen, will only be achieved by raising climate awareness”, he said, adding that this change in thoughts and behaviors is necessary to achieve climate action goals.
“It is important that climate action be implemented according to specific criteria and clear commitment mechanisms, in a way that helps facing the greenwashing phenomenon.”
Mohieldin said, stressing the importance of cooperation and commitment of all actors and parties to climate action.
Regarding scientific solutions, Mohieldin said that universities and research centers support the implementation of climate action through evidence and solutions based on scientific research, explaining that solar and wind power plants in Egypt are the result of these scientific solutions.
Concerning financing climate action, Mohieldin stressed that the performance of developed countries in this regard needs to be revised, saying “many developed countries failed to fulfill the annual $100-billion pledge of Copenhagen Conference to finance climate action in developing countries, which weakens confidence in their commitment to the trillions of dollars that are required for climate action over the next period”.
He said that lack of commitment to provide sufficient, fair and efficient finance for climate action will push towards sacrificing many climate goals, pointing to the importance of international financing parties to adopt soft grants and loans criteria that allow long-term repayment periods with low interest rates, with the middle-income countries benefit from these grants, as well as low-income countries.
“Those who say that there are no climate projects that are reliable, investable and bankable in developing countries and emerging markets should review the five regional roundtables initiative’s results that include promising projects covering all aspects of climate action.
In this regard, he referred to the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects, in which all parties and local actors in all Egyptian governorates participated with the aim of localizing development and climate action, and drawing an investment map covering all over the country.
Annalena Baerbock, German Foreign Minister, stressed that Germany listens to developing countries voices, understands their suffering, and seeks to cooperate with them to find and implement solutions, stressing the need for developed countries to deal seriously with the file of loss and damage caused by climate change in developing countries in the frame of climate justice.
Baerbock announced, in this regard, that Berlin will allocate 60 million euros annually to finance climate change adaptation measures in developing countries.
During a session entitled “Friends of greening national investment plans in Africa and developping countries initiative”, with the participation of Dr. Hala Al-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, and Alessandro Fracassetti, UN Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in Egypt, Mohieldin stressed the importance of linking this initiative to the public budgets of states, and encouraging national development banks and private sector to participate.
He highlighted the importance of identifying gaps to shape the required contribution from public, private sectors and various financing entities, he also emphasized the importance of exchanging experiences and knowledge among developing countries for actual implementation of this initiative.
“The investment map in Egypt that resulted from National initiative for smart green projects will help implement this initiative. Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda also represents a good opportunity to implement the initiative in agriculture, food, water, nature, coasts, oceans, human settlements and infrastructure sectors”, he concluded.