efforts are underway to combat rises in the sea level in Alexandria
Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Yannick Glemarec was in Cairo from 6 to 9 March as part of Egypt’s preparations to host the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in November.
The GCF is the leading financier of projects meant to mitigate the repercussions of climate change. This is Glemarec’s first visit to an African country in 2022.
The trip came within the framework of cooperation between the GCF and the Ministry of Environment in the run-up to COP27, especially in finalising Egypt’s national strategy for climate change and the list of projects it will present for financing. The projects are prepared according to Egypt’s priorities.
The Ministry of Environment is Egypt’s link with the GCF. It coordinates with the GCF secretariat and affiliated bodies and studies project proposals before submitting them to the National Council for Climate Change in preparation for submission to the GCF.
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said that cooperation between the GCF and the ministry was focused on new and renewable energy and projects guaranteeing the optimum use of energy. These projects make room for the participation of the private sector, and Egypt’s portfolio with the GCF amounts to $500 million.
Fouad added that the GCF and the ministry are also cooperating on other projects such as the national project for the protection of the Nile Delta and a programme funded by the GCF to protect the northwest coast at a cost of $32 million.
At COP27, Egypt will focus on the need to speed up financing for developing countries, especially in Africa. International initiatives will be selected that can help to combat the effects of climate change and improve people’s lives either by mitigation or adaptation, Fouad said.
She added that she had discussed projects for coastal protection, energy, and waste disposal with Glemarec during his visit to Cairo, along with the Decent Life initiative. She also discussed cooperation with the GCF in order to present projects at COP27 for immediate implementation.
Fouad stressed Egypt’s determination to make COP27 a turning point in climate change mitigation and transforming pledges into action on the ground.
Meetings held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on climate change had helped push forward multilateral environmental action in getting rid of plastic and chemical waste and problems pertaining to water surfaces, Fouad noted.
Glemarec said that the GCF sees eye-to-eye with Egypt in wanting to use COP27 to turn commitments into tangible actions, adding that it is the largest financing tool in the world on climate change, focusing on energy, climate, infrastructure, and improving living standards.
He explained that the main aim of his visit had been to discuss how the GCF can support Egypt at COP27 and to understand Egypt’s priorities.
He said that the North Coast and Delta are the most vulnerable areas in Egypt to climate change, adding that the GCF has provided a $31.4 million grant to boost adaptation in these areas.
Egypt has designed an ambitious programme to deal with climate change, he stated, adding that ignoring the threats posed by climate change could increase the cost of dealing with them later.
On the North Coast, one project is raising sand dunes to combat rises in the sea level, with this being a natural solution to combating the repercussions of climate change.
The GCF was established by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010 and oversees the financing mechanism of the Climate Change Convention and Paris Agreement.
It is meant to support developing countries in financing programmes, policies, and projects to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to adapt to the negative effects of climate change.
It also aims to achieve a balance between the funding provided for adaptation and mitigation projects and to allocate at least 50 per cent of the financing for adaptation to countries particularly vulnerable to climate-change risks, including the least-developed countries.
The GCF provides capacity building and technical support for developing countries to enhance access to climate finance through the Readiness Support Programme to strengthen institutional capacities and governance mechanisms and planning and programming frameworks to define and implement a long-term climate action agenda.
It also provides support for the preparation of national plans for adaptation and the accurate assessment of climate-change risks.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 10 March, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.