Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, stated that despite the fact that the African countries’ contribution to the greenhouse gases doesn’t exceed 3%, they are the most caring to invest in renewables and clean energy sources.
Mohieldin added, during his participation in the “World Energy: Looking Ahead to COP27” webinar hosted by the United Nations University (UNU), that the energy projects in Africa are in need for sufficient finances considering that 600 million people in the continent lack to energy access, beside the negative impacts of global warming on the African countries tracks to achieve SDGs especially those related to poverty, health, climate and economic growth, and this highlights the necessity of involving the developing countries -especially in Africa- in the international negotiations on energy sector transition.
“While some countries are going back to use dirty sources of energy such as fossil fuel, African countries concentrate on using the renewables.” Mohieldin said, referring to the existence of one of the largest solar plants in the world in Egypt, beside the green hydrogen projects in Egypt, Namibia, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Kenya and South Africa, which all aim to achieve many of SDGs despite being categorized as climate projects.
He stressed that financing climate action and energy transition in the developing countries especially in Africa in a frame of a holistic approach that aims to achieve SDGs as whole requires of the developed countries to fulfill their pledges, headed by the annual 100$ billions pledged in the Copenhagen conference for financing climate action in the developing countries, which is the pledge that has been fulfilled by only seven out of 23 countries.
The climate champion said that the climate projects in Africa is compatible with the Paris agreement in terms of implementing mitigation and adaptation measures equally, but it need technical, knowledge and finance support from the developed countries, explaining that Africa is ready to be the starting point of a just energy sector transition in the whole world.
Mohieldin also participated virtually in a session entitled “COP27: Turning pledges into plans”, with the participation of Dmitry Mariyasin, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and
Esther Wandel, Head of Division for Investment Funds & Sustainable Finance, German Federal Ministry of Finance.
During his speech, Mohieldin highlighted the climate action priorities that include adopting a holistic approach that enhance local and regional aspects of climate action according to the Paris agreement in a way that help progressing in mitigation, adaptation, addressing losses and damages, and financing climate action, referring also to the importance of scaling up climate action regarding the nexus of water, food and energy.
Relating to the losses and damages file, Mohieldin confirmed the necessity of making more efforts considering the raise of desertification and drought rates in a way that negatively affect livelihoods.
He stressed the importance of scaling up private sector participation in climate action, and mobilizing more investments, especially that more than 60% of financing climate action is on debt basis.