Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin: Private Sector Participation in Adaptation Activities is Essential to Achieve Climate Targets

NISGP Drew an Investment Map Through Projects That Help Achieving Nature & Digitalization Goals in Egypt’s Governorates

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that private sector involvement in financing and implementing climate adaptation activities has become essential not only for their importance to humans and nature, but also for the continuation of businesses and making profits.

This came during his participation in the High-level session on the Role of the Private Sector in Low-Emission and Climate Resilient Pathways, within the events of the World Green Economy Summit (WGES) 2023 that held in Dubai one day before the kick off of COP28, with the participation of Raad Al Saady, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Acwa Power, James Grabert, Director of Mitigation Division at UNFCCC, and Gonzalo Muñoz, UN High Level Champion for COP25.

Mohieldin stated that climate action is based on three main elements, with none of them can not substitute the other: innovation, regulation and finance, explaining that the innovation and finance compass focuses on OECD member countries and China, but it is not smoothly oriented towards EMDEs, which must be changed through cross-border cooperation and the adoption of solutions-based ideas.

Mohieldin stressed the need to adopt a holistic approach in dealing with climate change at the global level, saying that global climate action needs support through regional and local efforts, with more attention to climate adaptation activities.

Mohieldin noted that the contribution of the private sector and corporates to climate action is increasing but not enough, and the private sector pays attention to mitigation more than adaptation activities, explaining that adaptation activities receive no more than 4% of private funding, while 3% goes to financing activities with common benefits that serve both mitigation and adaptation goals.

Mohieldin added that COP27 launched Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda as a practical mechanism to implement adaptation activities, noting the importance of the role of the private sector and corporates in the effective implementation of these activities, which include promising investment opportunities to benefit humans and nature and maximize the profits of corporates and the private sector.

Regarding the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects in Egypt (NISGP) and the role of the private sector in it, Mohieldin said that the initiative aimed for two years to search for solutions to mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change through local environmentally friendly projects based on the latest technological systems.

The climate champion explained that the initiative was characterized by comprehensiveness, as it brought together large, small and medium-sized projects, and included youth and women projects, as well as its geographical scope, which includes all local entities in all Egyptian governorates, adding that the projects that participated in this pioneering initiative aim to achieve SDGs, address the effects of climate change and accelerate the process of digital transformation in Egypt.

He said that the initiative has drawn an investment map throughout Egypt, and is thus working to stimulate investments and financing from the government, private sector and international development partners with the aim of financing and implementing these projects and achieving their development and climate goals.

Regarding the importance of accountability and transparency elements in the contributions of the private sector and corporates to climate and development action, Mohieldin confirmed the need to agree on clear and binding ESG standards to ensure the ability to evaluate the performance of corporates and private sector and their contributions to social, environmental and development action.

Mohieldin referred to the progress made in developing codes and related regulations, including the climate disclosure standards established by the International Sustainability Standards Council (ISSC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Net Zero Guidelines, and the recommendations of the Independent Committee of Experts, which worked under the guidance of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with the aim of ensuring disclosure and transparency in climate and development action.