Promoting Climate Action at the Regional & Local Levels Contributes to Bridging Climate Finance Gap
Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that Arab countries need to intensify climate adaptation activities, produce energy in environmentally friendly ways, and link public budgets to SDGs, including climate goals.
This came during his participation in a session entitled “Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Arab Countries”, organized by Egyptian Institute of National Planning within the events of COP28 in Dubai, with the participation of Alessandro Fracassetti, UNDP Resident Representative for Egypt, Dr. Hala Abo Ali, Vice President of the Institute of National Planning for Research and Graduate Studies, and Deger Saygin, OECD Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilization Program Leader.
Mohieldin stated that Arab countries contribute less than 5% to carbon emissions, however, the Arab region is one of the most affected regions by climate change, which confirms the need to intensify work on climate adaptation, explaining that the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA) launched during COP27 represents a practical mechanism for implementing adaptation activities across five main areas: food and agriculture, water and nature, coasts and oceans, human settlements, and infrastructure, all of which include promising investment opportunities and enhance PPPs.
In this regard, Mohieldin stressed the need to scale up the participation of the private sector in financing and implementing climate adaptation activities, as the sector’s contribution to financing these activities does not exceed 3%.
In this context, Mohieldin praised the fund announced by the UAE to finance climate action through the private sector worth $30 billion, stressing at the same time the importance of blended finance that brings domestic, external, public and private sources of finance all together.
Mohieldin said that the activation of the Loss and Damage Fund during COP28 is a complement to the success of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh in this file, explaining that the fund launched at the Sharm El Sheikh conference will provide accurate data on climate change losses, and will mobilize funding to deal with them, as well as change the dynamics of climate action by alerting to the importance of enhancing efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
Mohieldin noted the important role of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in financing climate action in developing countries, saying that the second replenishment of the fund witnessed greater contributions from contributing countries, with the expectation that five countries will announce their contributions to the fund during the Dubai conference.
The climate champion underlined the need to intensify and accelerate action to bridge the climate finance gap, and strengthen climate action efforts at regional and local levels to support the global effort, pointing in this regard to the Regional Platforms of Climate Projects (RPCP), and the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects (NISGP) in Egypt, saying that these unprecedented initiatives, launched last year in preparation of Egypt’s host and presidency of COP27, succeeded in strengthening the regional and local dimensions of climate action.
Mohieldin confirmed the importance of activating debt management solutions, foremost of which is debt swaps for investment in nature and climate, and linking the public budgets of states with SDGs, especially in the Arab countries, explaining that Egypt has the lead in launching a national platform for climate and development action linked to the country plans and its public budget.
Mohieldin concluded his speech by stressing that the implementation of climate action requires providing fair and adequate finance, activating scientific and technological solutions, and developing regulatory frameworks and policies that stimulate climate action.