The Summit Contributed to Creating a Unified African Voice that Expresses the Continent’s Priorities in International Forums
Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, stated that Africa Climate Summit (ACS) hosted by Kenya last week succeeded in highlighting climate action as a solution for food, energy and debt crises, and stressed that climate action is developmental and that the financing of climate projects is financing for various SDGs.
Mohieldin said, in an interview with CGTN, that ACS contributed to creating a unified African voice that expresses the priorities of development and climate action in Africa in different international forums, foremost of which are the UN meetings in New York and COP28 in Dubai.
He explained that Kenya’s hosting of Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week (ACW) with the high-level participation of leaders, head of governments, private sector and civil society in Africa has given impetus to climate and development action at a time that the world is seeing a state of ongoing crises, and it came at a critical moment that requires uniting efforts to achieve climate and development goals.
“Nairobi Declaration highlighted Africa priorities for climate and development action, the importance of partnerships for providing finance, applying technological solutions and building capacities at African countries in order to achieve these priorities.” Mohieldin said, adding that the Declaration also linked global efforts to regional action with taking the impacts on local communities into account.
Mohieldin explained that the interest of ACS and ACW in discussing the $100 billion pledged by developed countries to finance climate action in developing countries annually and have not yet fulfilled came from the premise that fulfilling this pledge will enhance confidence among countries and pave the way for the implementation of more pledges, but this financing – if fulfilled – is no longer enough to fill the climate finance gap in developing countries, explaining that mobilizing finance for climate and development action requires mixing public, private, domestic and external sources, as well as applying of innovative finance mechanisms.
In this regard, Mohieldin stressed that financing climate and development action in Africa should not add to the debt burdens suffered by many countries on the continent, saying that finance mobilization must be done mainly through scaling private sector participation, and activating concessional finance policies that include low interest rate and long-term repayment and grace periods.
He confirmed that just energy transition in Africa requires partnerships that contribute effectively to phasing out of fossil fuel and enhancing investment in clean energy resources that the continent is full of, with the need to take into account the economic and social dimensions and impacts of the transition process on communities.