Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin:
Actual Implementation of Climate Action Requires Enhanced Efforts at Global, Regional and National Levels

Projects resulting from the “Regional Roundtables” and “Smart Green Projects” initiatives represent promising investment opportunities

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that the implementation of climate action requires massive financing, more cooperation in technological fields, concerted efforts at the global and regional levels, strengthening domestic action at the state level and updating NDCs.

This came during his participation in the opening session of the second round of the Green Society Forum, which organized by “Alam Al Mal” under the auspices of the Ministries of Social Solidarity, Planning and Economic Development, in a large official presence and with the participation of various organizations and associations of business and economic and industrial institutions from public and private sectors.

Mohieldin stated that the COP28 in Dubai is building on the successful results of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, which aimed to actually implement the various aspects of climate action set by Paris Agreement in 2015, which are mitigating emissions, adapting to climate change, dealing with the resulting loss and damage, and mobilizing necessary finance to achieve these goals.

Mohieldin stressed the urgent need to commit to emission reduction targets and do more to get this goal back on track; saying that mitigation is seeing a deviation from the target set for 2030 by around 60%.

He added that working to reduce emissions requires focusing mainly on the energy sector by reducing dependence on fossil fuel and methane, and replacing them with renewables, explaining that COP27 paid big attention to investment in renewables such as wind, solar energy and green hydrogen, as well as the infrastructure and advanced technology related to these sources of energy.

Mohieldin highlighted the importance of tracking and monitoring the energy sector updates through reports issued by the relevant international organizations, foremost of which are the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He also stressed the need to reduce dependence on dirty energy in various sectors such as the maritime transportation, as well as the iron, steel, aluminum, cement and fertilizer industries, develop and activate voluntary carbon markets, and set industrial criteria in line with the new policies approved by the EU on transboundary carbon.

The climate champion said that COP27 has made a significant contribution to climate action related to adaptation by launching Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA), which aims to achieve resilience for the most affected communities by focusing on five main areas of work that include promising investment opportunities, namely food and agriculture, water and nature, coasts and oceans, human settlements, and infrastructure. He pointed out the need to increase the participation of private sector in financing and implementing adaptation activities, as the sector’s contribution to financing these activities does not exceed 3%.

Mohieldin noted that the Sharm El Sheikh conference made a very important achievement by launching Loss and Damage Fund, adding that the committee concerned with setting the work mechanisms of the fund and its governance is making a great effort in this regard to begin activating the fund and benefiting from it as soon as possible.

He confirmed the importance of the first Global Stocktake, which will be announced in Dubai conference, to know how far the governments and other actors are committed to climate action and its financing. He said that the conference will discuss future measures to ensure that various actors fulfill their commitments.

In this context, he confirmed the importance of developed countries fulfilling their commitments to finance climate action, foremost of which is the $100 billion pledged at the climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009 to annually finance climate action in developing countries. He also stressed the need to reduce dependence on debt as a method to finance climate and development action, activate debt swaps for investment in nature and climate, and increase the participation of private sector in financing and implementing climate action.

Mohieldin emphasized the need to reform the current global financing system, and strengthening the role of IFIs and MDBs in financing climate and development action by increasing their capital and adopting more effective policies for concessional financing.

“It is necessary to adopt a holistic approach that does not separate any of the sustainable development goals, including the goal of confronting climate change.” Mohieldin said, explaining that climate finance is a sustainable development finance and not a substitute for it.

He called for promoting investment in human capital and providing individuals with the necessary skills and capabilities to implement climate action. He also called for enhancing investment in scientific research and technologies related to climate action.

Mohieldin concluded his speech by referring to the unprecedented initiatives launched by Egypt last year and witnessed great success, while this year is witnessing the holding of its second edition, foremost of which is the initiative of the Five Regional Roundtables launched by the Egyptian presidency of COP27 in cooperation with the regional economic commissions of the United Nations and the HLCs to enhance the regional climate action and find investable and implementable climate and development projects.

He mentioned also the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects launched by the Egyptian government under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to raise the level of local contribution to climate and development action through a competition for large, medium and small projects, women and youth projects, startups and non-profit community initiatives, which represent promising investment opportunities in all governorates.