Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin: Climate Finance Needs Big Push

Sharm El Sheikh Conference Witnessed The Launch Of Important Green Hydrogen Initiatives By Arab And African Countries

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that climate and development finance needs a big push that begins with reforming the global financing system to allow fair, adequate and more effective financing that fulfills the needs of developing countries.

This came during his participation in a TV seminar entitled “Climate.. The Planet Changes” on CNBC Arabia, with the participation of Haitham Al Ghais, Secretary General of OPEC, and Francesco La Camera, Director General of IRENA.

Mohieldin explained that financing development and climate action in developing countries is unfair, insufficient and inefficient, unfair because the bulk of it depends on debt, which increases the burdens of developing countries that are demanded to pay the bill of the climate crisis, which they did not cause in the first place, and insufficient because climate action in developing countries requires annual funding of $1.2 trillion annually until 2025 and then $2.4 trillion annually until 2030, while developed countries have not yet fulfilled since 2009 the annual $100 billion they have pledged to finance climate action in developing countries.

Mohieldin added that climate finance in developing countries is inefficient given the long time since these countries begin negotiating with developed countries, international financing institutions and multilateral development banks until the actual usage of this financing in implementing climate projects.

Mohieldin stressed the importance of the element of time in dealing with the climate crisis because humanity is threatened with paying the high cost of delay in implementing climate action, saying that the world is in a race against time to strengthen the three lines of defense against climate change, which are reducing harmful emissions, adapting to climate change and dealing with the resulting loss and damage.

“Confronting climate change is a collective responsibility of individuals, companies and governments.” Mohieldin said, confirming the importance of setting responsibilities at the countries level to achieve the goal of net zero and adjusting the path of reducing emissions which already deviates by 60% from the target rates of 2030.

Mohieldin stated that the goals of the Paris Agreement are still achievable but require strong political will, applying technological solutions in different fields after the breakthroughs they made in energy and water sectors, as well as mobilizing the necessary funding for climate action from its various sources.

Mohieldin noted that the hosting of Arab countries such as Egypt and the UAE of COP27 and COP28 sends very important messages, including focusing on the development holistic approach especially that developing countries do not have the luxury of sectioning sustainable development action, in addition to focusing on the priorities of climate action in developing countries and emerging markets, foremost of which is adapting to climate change and getting compensated for losses and damage resulting from it, and the need to start the actual implementation of climate action and providing the required technology and fair, sufficient and efficient financing.

He explained that the Arab countries in general and the Gulf in particular seek to diversify their economic activities so that they do not rely completely on oil, adding that these countries invest heavily in renewable energy, implement digital transformation in all fields, and strongly invest in human capital so that in the near future it can promote non-oil economies.

Mohieldin said that COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh witnessed the launch of important green hydrogen initiatives by Arab and African countries, which set good rules and standards for the production and exportation of this form of energy in an important step that makes a qualitative transition in the field of energy in these countries that attracts large investments.