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Mahmoud Mohieldin: Transition to green cities helps facing climate change..Green cities provide job opportunities and help increasing food and water security

HLCs work with non-state entities to enhance their role in achieving NetZero target

Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that transitioning to green cities through nature-based solutions helps achieving resilience and reducing losses of climate change.

His remarks came during his participation in a session about the green urban future in the shade of climate crisis, in the 38th annual conference of African Union for Housing Finance.

Mohieldin added that building green cities will help providing job opportunities and lower cost infrastructure, stimulating businesses productivity and increasing tourism’s value, and achieving -as a result- long-term economic growth accompanied by increasing food and water security.

He noted that transitioning to green urban societies will provide cleaner air and water and -therefore- enhance human health, and increased habitat for endangered species, saying that activating nature-based solutions will increase finance efficiency and raise the value of the available funds for climate action.

According to Mohieldin, cities play a main role in activating climate action for many reasons, first of them is that they add to the climate crisis through emitting the biggest amount of greenhouse gases and therefore they have to implement mitigation measures, second is that most of urban societies located in coastal areas which are threatened by the sea level rise and this makes them the most needed to implement adaptation measures, third is that cities can reduce losses and damages of climate change through early warning systems and social protection instruments, beside being centers of economic systems that can mobilize finance for climate action.

“COP27 Presidential Sustainable Urban Resilience for the Next Generation (SURGe) Initiative aims to enhance and accelerate local and urban climate action through multi-level governance, and contributing to achieve the Paris Climate Goals and Sustainable Development Goals as a whole.” Mohieldin said.

Regarding the role of HLCs, Mohieldin said that they work with non-state entities in the cities to enhance their role in achieving NetZero target at the level of mitigation measures, adding that HLCs push towards implementing Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda that ensure accelerating of transitioning the sectors of food and agriculture, water and nature, coastal and oceans systems, human settlements, and infrastructures, in a way that enhances resilience to climate change.

“The Five Regional Roundtables Initiative launched by Egypt presidency of COP27, UN regional economic commissions and HLCs resulted in a pipeline of projects that help urban societies in reducing emissions and adapt to climate change in a frame of a holistic approach that aims to achieve SDGs altogether through involving all stakeholders including private sector.” Mohieldin stated.

Mohieldin referred to the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects saying that it provided an Egyptian model for localizing climate action, and drew an investment map in all Egyptian governorates, stressing that this efficient model could be repeated in different countries.

He explained that of the Race to Resilience signatory cities, 80% reported having a climate action strategy in place, adding that HLCs push towards turning these strategies into actual implementation in order to achieve resilience for 4 billion people by 2030.

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