UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin speaking during leaders roundtable within the Africa Adaptation Summit in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Monday, 5 September 2022
Mohieldin made his remarks during his participation in the leaders roundtable within the Africa Adaptation Summit, held by Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) in cooperation with AU, African Development Bank Group and Africa Adaptation Initiative in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The event was attended by Macky Sall, president of Senegal and chairperson of the African Union; Nana Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana and chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum; Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon and Africa adaptation initiative champion; and Félix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and pre-COP27 host.
Also attending were Sahle-Work Zewde, president of Ethiopia; Mette Frederiksen, prime minister of Denmark; Amina Mohammed, UN deputy secretary-general; and Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary-general and chair of GCA.
The roundtable comes nearly two months ahead of the coming the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) set to be held 6-18 November in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.
The developed countries' pledges to finance climate action in the developing countries have not been fulfilled despite the urgent need for these countries to finance climate change adaptation projects, mitigate its impacts and deal with losses and damages resulting from it, Mohieldin said.
Only 70 percent of the $100 billion pledged in 2009’s COP, held in Copenhagen, to finance climate action in the developing countries have been fulfilled, he explained.
Climate finance has been debated at every COP 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.
"Even in the case where the whole amount had been fulfilled, it would represent only five percent of the required funds to finance climate action in developing countries," he pointed out.
The climate champion stressed the importance of private sector participation in financing all aspects of climate action, especially adaptation, saying that the sector’s contribution has not exceeded three percent.
"This requires scaling up private sector participation through adjusting related policies, conducting [public-private partnerships] and focusing more on the major investment opportunities in development and climate action," he noted.
Mohieldin also stressed the necessity of not separating development and climate action, urging a holistic approach in which all sustainable development goals can be achieved together without sacrificing one for the other.
He said that the developing countries and emerging markets need financing solutions that depend more on investments to avoid adding to their debt burden, or to offer soft grants and loans according to international development association (IDA) criteria. Middle income countries should also be allowed to benefit from IDAs alongside the low income ones, he added.
The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) initiative, which resulted from last year’s COP26 with the aim of financing accelerated decarbonisation of the economy, is currently being implemented in Africa to finance climate projects, especially projects that aim to achieve adaptation and resilience, he said.
Mohieldin added that establishing carbon markets that suit criteria and circumstances of the developing countries and emerging markets is a good way to finance development and climate action.
He called for activating innovative finance instruments, applying international financing criteria to avoid greenwashing, and linking public budgets of states to development and climate action.
Mohieldin said that the agenda of COP27 covers all climate action aspects, giving all participants wide leeway to discuss and suggest solutions, with more focus on coming out of these discussions with plans that can be immediately implemented.
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 temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.