Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin on SDG Mobilization Day in NY: The Five Regional Roundtables Initiative Contributes to Implementing Climate Action and Achieving SDGs

The Initiative Successfully Resulted in a Number of Investable Projects in Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience Fields

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, confirmed need to adopt a comprehensive approach that links financing and implementing climate action to the other SDGs in order to bridge the wide gap in climate and development finance, and intensify climate action to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

During his participation and co-chairing a session on “Regional Platforms for Climate Projects” within the events of SDG Mobilization Day in New York, Mohieldin said that implementing climate action is closely related to economic development, which was confirmed by Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan launched during COP27, adding that this principle on which the initiative of Regional Platforms for Climate Projects is based.

He stressed that the COP27 has given priority to mobilizing finance for climate projects that achieve the goals of Paris Agreement and contribute to the implementation of the SDGs, without further burdening developing countries with more debt. This file is also one of the most important files of COP28.

Mohieldin described the current climate finance as insufficient, inefficient and unfair, especially with regard to adaptation activities, explaining that by 2030, the cost of adaptation in developing countries is expected to reach $300 billion annually, while global adaptation financing flows amounted to only $46 billion in 2020, of which only $28.6 billion flowed to low- and middle-income countries. The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2022 states that international adaptation financing flows to low- and middle-income countries are five to five to ten times less than actual needs.

Mohieldin explained that increasing the number of investable climate and development projects, and presenting them to investors and financiers willing and able to invest in them, especially in developing countries, is crucial to achieve the required financial transformation, which is the approach that is being worked on by the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects.

He stated that scaling-up climate finance in developing countries requires development finance institutions to adopt new concessional finance policies that include a low interest rate and long-term repayment and grace periods, de-risk financing climate and development projects in these countries by activating the mechanisms of credit enhancement and credit guarantee, support the legislative environment for business, reduce debt of low- and middle-income countries by activating a number of mechanisms, foremost of which is debt swaps, as well as activating foreign exchange guarantee mechanisms, and stimulating the mobilization of finance from domestic resources.

Mohieldin stressed that the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects, launched by the Egyptian presidency of COP27 in cooperation with the United Nations regional economic commissions and the HLCs last year, has succeeded in highlighting more than 400 projects in the five regions, which were shortlisted to around 100 projects that are presented this year to potential financiers in the five regional forums.

He stated that the forums of Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific this year have resulted in closing 7 deals, explaining that work will continue during the regional forum of the Arab region, which will be held in Dubai during the first week of November.

Mohieldin called for expanding partnerships and cooperation between governments, private sector and development finance institutions to provide finance and technical assistance for these projects.