Mohieldin: JET-P helps developing countries to decarbonize some industrial sectors and increase their exports
Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) raises many concerns among developing countries and exporting companies to the EU, including the mechanism’s failure to take into account the priorities and conditions of climate and development action in these countries and its ability to mitigate emissions in hard-to-abate sectors such as fertilizers, cement, iron, steel and hydrogen, and the impact of this tax on the activity of companies operating in these sectors and thus on the economies of developing countries as a whole, as well as the concerns of these countries about the instability of energy strategies in Europe and its impact on their preparation for their energy projects.
This came during his participation in a discussion roundtable entitled “Implications of CBAM on Egypt”, organized by LYNX Strategic Business Advisors, and attended by Vicente Hurtado Roa, Head of Unit C.2, CBAM, Energy and Green Taxation at the European Commission, Ambassador Omar Abou Eich, FM Assistant, Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, Director of Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Department at Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sherif Abdel Rehim, Advisor to the Minister of Environment, and Moataz Yakan, Senior Economic Adviser at LYNX.
Mohieldin stated that the protective mechanisms of trade place more restrictions on developing countries and limit the competitiveness of their products, and do not help these countries to achieve their climate and development goals, underlining fears of developing countries about the contradiction of CBAM with the rules of the WTO, and the actual cost borne by companies and countries to implement the mechanism.
At the same time, Mohieldin said that developing countries need to face the challenges imposed by the CBAM, explaining that developing countries must start immediately in decarbonizing industries targeted by the mechanism in the context of just transition, and make partnerships with Europe to facilitate the accession of their companies to this mechanism during the transitional period of its application, which extends for two years.
He stressed the importance of cooperation between Europe and developing countries on voluntary carbon markets that enable these countries to use carbon credits in reducing emissions and thus increasing the competitiveness of their products. He also noted the importance of Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JET-P) and the participation of the EU in building developing countries capacities and providing finance and technical assistance for their energy projects to help them decarbonize high-emission industrial sectors.
The climate champion pointed out that Egypt is among the top ten exporting countries for products targeted by CBAM to the EU countries, which represents a strong motive to take advantage of cooperation opportunities between the two sides in order to implement the transition in Egypt energy sector and the implementation of the European mechanism.
Mohieldin concluded by calling on developing countries to work on developing their own policies and standards to implement development and climate action in line with their priorities, maximize their potential and increase their competitiveness and thus achieve maximum benefit for their peoples.