Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin discusses with European officials ways to implement the outputs and initiatives of COP27

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, discussed with a number of European officials the ways to practically implement the outputs of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh and the initiatives launched during the conference.

This came during the first day of his visit to Brussels, where the Egyptian Embassy organizes a number of high-level meetings between the climate champion and a group of EU and Belgian government officials concerned with climate and energy issues, with the participation of Ambassador Dr. Badr Abdel-Aty, Egypt Ambassador to Belgium and EU, and the embassy members.

Mohieldin began the work of the first day of the visit with a meeting with Tinne Van der Straeten, the Belgian Minister of Energy. Both sides discussed the steps taken to implement the outputs of COP27, especially with regard to financing arrangements.

The meeting addressed the reached list of financeable green energy projects, especially green hydrogen ones, while highlighting in this context the African continent and its promising potential to achieve just energy transition, with the need for developed countries to assume their responsibility to provide Africa with finance and technology, and support the capabilities of the African countries to overcome related challenges such as high costs and lack of concessional financing, increased demand rates, the need for infrastructure development, support for scientific research, human skills development and technology transfer.

Mohieldin and Van dear Straeten also discussed a number of key initiatives launched during the Sharm El Sheikh conference, including the initiative of the Global Renewable Hydrogen Forum, which was jointly launched by Egypt and Belgium, in addition to the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI), which is a model for regional cooperation and an opportunity for collaboration with the European side at the levels of financing and technical support.

Mohieldin, in a meeting with Oliver Várhelyi, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, stressed the importance of foreign investments in mobilizing finance for adaptation and resilience activities in developing and middle-income countries. He also emphasized the necessity of all actors at the international level including IFIs to work together to strengthen cooperation between public and private sectors, and to build a financing system that allows for more investment in adaptation and resilience activities, as investments by the private sector in this context remain very limited, while working to reduce the increasing physical and transitional risks of climate change.

Mohieldin highlighted the importance of promoting investment in climate action and implementing what was reached at COP27, especially in the field of adaptation and its sectors including food security, agriculture, and water resources management. He also touched on the issue of debt swaps in developing countries, and the need to find solutions to debt-dependent climate finance, such as activating debt reduction mechanisms, debt swaps for investments in development and green projects, saying that the issue will be raised at the Paris summit this month which supposed to handle climate finance issues.

Mohieldin met also on his first day in Brussels senior European Commission officials, Belén Carbonell, Managing Director for Global Agenda and Multilateral Relations at European External Action Service, Tibor Stelbaczky, Principal Adviser on Energy Diplomacy at European External Action Service, and Gerassimos Thomas, Director General Taxation and Customs Union at European Commission.

The meetings discussed the steps and procedures taken by the Egyptian presidency of COP27 to implement its outputs and the initiatives launched during the conference, and the coordination with the European side in this regard. European officials were briefed on the ongoing coordination with the UAE presidency of COP28 to build on what was achieved during the Egyptian presidency of the conference.

The meetings also highlighted the importance of the actual implementation of climate action pledges, especially in the topics of finance, technology transfer and capacity-building, as well as the role of the private sector in financing and implementing climate action in general snd adaptation activities in specific, beside addressing the African Carbon Markets Initiative launched during the Sharm El Sheikh Conference with the aim of enhancing the capacities of African countries to finance and implement their climate and development projects.

In all meetings, Mohieldin confirmed the importance of finding innovative solutions to provide the necessary financing, technology and technical support to developing countries to face climate change.