Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin:
COP27 Prioritizes Adaptation to Climate Change through Launching Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that Egypt presidency of COP27 prioritized adaptation to climate change, highlighted the challenges facing adaptation and resilience activities, and contributed to finding an action plan to implement these activities by launching the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA).

This came during his participation in the session on the SAA within the events of Bonn Climate Conference, in which the Egyptian presidency of COP27, the HLCs and the Marrakech Partnership launched six task forces to accelerate the implementation of the agenda by focusing on the areas of food systems, water, human settlements, oceans, infrastructure and finance.

Mohieldin said that the task forces will work to seize opportunities and apply practical solutions that help implementing the SAA.

Mohieldin explained that the gap in the implementation of adaptation activities is mainly a financing gap, which requires mobilizing finance and reducing risks, saying that the contribution of the private sector and businesses does not exceed 4% of the adaptation financing, which is very far from the required contribution level.

“The famous $100 billion pledged by developed countries at the 2009 Copenhagen Conference to finance climate action annually in developing countries annually will, if met, contribute to bridging the climate finance gap by only 3%.” Mohieldin said.

He stated that efforts to double the adaptation financing from its level in 2019 to range from 20 to 30 billion dollars annually in 2025 is good but not enough, “this will leave us short of 5 to 10 times the adaptation finance needed for developing countries, estimated to reach $340 billion annually by 2030 and $560 billion by 2050.”

Mohieldin said that in order to contribute to narrowing the gap between the requirements of adaptation activities and their implementation, the Egyptian presidency of COP27, in cooperation with the United Nations regional economic commissions and the HLCs team, worked to find investable, bankable and implementable projects through the five regional forums on climate finance, adding that the first edition of the forums discussed about 400 projects in which 70 of them focus on adaptation and resilience.

The climate champion stressed that the SAA will effectively contribute to bridging the gap between financing and implementing adaptation projects, explaining that the implementation of the agenda requires heavy work to mobilize finance from its public and private sources and apply various financing solutions at the local, national and regional levels.

In this context, Mohieldin highlighted the importance of scaling the private sector participation in financing and implementing climate action as a whole, and adaptation activities in particular, as well as activating debt reduction mechanisms, debt swaps for investment in nature and climate, voluntary carbon markets, beside enhancing the contribution of IFIs and MDBs through adopting more effective policies for concessional financing.

The session witnessed the participation of Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, Director of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and COP27 Presidency Lead Negotiator, Razan Al Mubarak, HLC for COP28, Dr. Youssef Nassef, UNFCCC Adaptation Director, and the SAA six task forces leaders.

The six task forces will work on rallying non-state actors and governments to implement SAA, identify partnerships needed to deliver on each target, facilitating discussions to inform the baseline and tracking of progress for each of the target, contributing to shape a common narrative for adaptation system transformation, and also contributing to channel inputs from partners to inform the first SAA Implementation Report.