Egypt launches ‘unprecedented’ initiative to catalyse climate investment

Ahram Online , Sunday 31 Jul 2022

Egypt announced Sunday it would hold five regional roundtables over the coming two months in its role as president of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in an unprecedented initiative to to catalyse investments in different climate sectors.



The Egyptian initiative will put climate projects, investors, companies, international financing entities, development banks and other stakeholders at one table with the aim of actually implementing projects that help achieve climate action goals, according to a statement by the office of the UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt.

The roundtables will be organised by Egypt in cooperation with UN regional committees and UN high level climate champions, said the statement.

The first roundtable will take place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as the home of the UN regional economic committee for Africa on 2-4 August.

Bangkok will host the second roundtable on 25 August for the Asia-Pacific region, while Santiago will host the third roundtable on 1-2 September for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Beirut will host the Arab world roundtable on 15 September, while Geneva will host the last roundtable on 20 September for Europe.

The outcomes of the five meetings will be announced during COP27, slated to be held November in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Mahmoud Mohieldin, the UN climate change high level champion for Egypt, said the initiative aims to discuss investment opportunities in the sectors of food, water, irrigation, increasing agricultural productivity, new and renewable sources of energy and its infrastructure.

Additionally, they will tackle the digital transformation of those sectors in a way that helps in implementing climate projects on the ground, achieving climate goals and providing job opportunities in the five regions.

According to the statement, the Addis Ababa's roundtable will be titled "Towards COP27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs," with high level Egyptian participation.

Egyptian participants in the forum will include Sameh Shoukry, foreign minister and COP27 president designate; Yasmine Fouad, environment minister and COP27 ministerial coordinator and envoy; Rania Al-Mashat, international cooperation minister; and Mohamed Farid, EGX chairman.

Many African ministers, UN officials, businessmen, investors, representatives of international financing entities and development banks from inside and outside Africa will also take part in the event.

The event will include many sessions that will discuss financial vehicles for just transition finance, upscaling investment in adaptation, in ecosystem based approaches and disaster risk reduction loss and damage, green business matchmaking in Africa and private sector networking for climate action, the statement added.

According to the agenda, the event will contain six discussions that address energy access and just energy transition and transport, food security, climate smart agriculture and building resilience and ecosystem based approaches, digital transformation, the development of African carbon credit markets, the Blue Economy and supporting water access for different cities.

Mohieldin said the forum aims to catalyse climate finance and investment flows towards building climate resilience in Africa as well as advancing Agenda 2063 and the Agenda 2030, finding climate and economic solutions that help achieve the sustainable development goals in Africa.

It also seeks to get the most benefit out of Africa carbon credits, tackle key barriers precluding large scale debt swaps, enhance collaboration between public and private stakeholders and different countries to improve risk management, he assured.

Hopes are pinned on COP27 to turn climate-related pledges into action to help facilitate the move to green energy in order to reduce harmful gas emissions and adapt to climate change as per the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement – adopted at COP21 and signed by over 190 states including Egypt – came into effect in 2016 with the aim of limiting the rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Climate finance has been debated at every COP meeting since as developed countries have failed to meet their promise to mobilise $100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing nations with mitigation and adaptation measures.

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