Arab cooperation key to financing climate projects, says Mohieldin

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 Sep 2022

The Egyptian vision of five major regional forums ahead of COP27 reflects confidence that common regional work can overcome obstacles to financing and implementing climate projects amid current global challenges, said UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda Mahmoud Mohieldin.

UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda Mahmoud Mohieldin speaking at the Beirut forum on 15 Sept. 2022


Mohieldin's remarks came during his participation in the opening session of Arab Regional Forum to Fnance Climate Action held by ESCWA in Beirut, with the virtual participation of Egyptian Minister Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, who is also the president designate of COP27, Minister of Planning Hala El-Said, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, and Amina Mohamed, UN deputy secretary-general. 

In Beirut attending the forum are the Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, Rola Dashti, UN undersecretary-general and ESCWA executive director, and a number of Arab ministers.

The forum in Beirut is the fourth in regional meeting launched by Egypt's presidency of COP27, UN regional commissions, high-level Champions, and GFANZ to prepare for the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November.

Mohieldin said cooperation between Arab countries can result in overcoming challenges and achieving climate targets, expecting that the Arab forum will result in effective and applicable regional projects that can be financed.

He said that the results of the previous three regional forums confirmed the importance of climate action on a regional level. 

The Africa forum resulted in 19 applicable projects in the sectors of transportation, energy infrastructure, agriculture, blue economy, and carbon markets, he noted.

He added that the Asia and Pacific forum resulted in 20 projects to finance NDCs, make PPPs, develop finance markets and cooperate in the energy sector,

The Latin America forum in Santiago resulted in four giant projects in the fields of transportation and energy, he said.

The climate champion highlighted the existence of climate financing initiatives such as GFANZ to finance climate action by $130 trillion, with the most important now being to set applicable and bankable project pipelines to start negotiations about financing them.

Mohieldin stressed that financing these projects should take the shape of partnerships and investments rather than debts that represent 62 percent of climate financing methods.

He expected that the Arab forum will result in projects that are qualitatively different and vary in different sectors.

He noted that the Egypt International Cooperation Forum and Development Financing (Egypt-ICF 2022), which that took place in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) in September, focused on discussing the nexus of water, food, and energy projects and their most suitable financing tools.

"COP27 that will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh next November will be a conference for solutions for climate action problems, especially financing." Mohieldin said, adding that the current climate financing is insufficient, where private sector participation doesn't exceed three percent.

"Climate financing is insufficient, inefficient and injustice, insufficient because we need doubles of current amount of financing; inefficient because it takes too long to be negotiated until it reach the actual implementation; unjust because the most climate change vulnerable countries are asked to pay for a crisis that they don't contribute to it, and they get the little share of finance to achieve their climate goals."

Mohieldin concluded his speech by requesting the Beirut forum to agree on effective, applicable, and bankable climate projects, and enhance cooperation between all stakeholders including governments, private sector, investment banks, and development partners in order to implement climate projects with a holistic approach that achieves all SDGs together.

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