Mahmoud Mohieldin, Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt, during his participation in a session about the private sector role in implementing climate solutions during the events of NYC Climate Week. (Photo courtesy of Mahmoud Mohieldin's media office)
Mohieldin, who is also the UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, made these remarks during a session on the private sector role in implementing climate solutions as part of the events of NYC Climate Week.
Participants in the event included Ambassador David Thorne, Senior Advisor at the Office of the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Yakubu Muhammed Baba, Registrar and Chief Executive of Environmental Health Council of Nigeria; and Amin Adam, the Deputy Minister for Energy in Ghana.
Mohieldin reaffirmed in the session that Africa - both people and economies - is suffering in a major disproportionate way from climate change despite contributing only 3% to global warming.
He stressed that "economic and social development in Africa must be green and clean otherwise the continent will continue to suffer from climate change and will keep paying to deal with its impacts."
Mohieldin pointed out that this requires joint work from governments, private sector and NGOs, utilisation of finance and investment opportunities in climate action, application of new technologies, and development of data systems that help in achieving climate targets.
Mohieldin argued during the session that public finance should play the main role in adaptation projects to minimize investment risks.
This would encourage more private sector participation in solar and renewable energy, green hydrogen and other adaptation projects, he added.
"Adaptation projects need more attention from public finance and more participation from the private sector," Mohieldin said, noting that only 3% of financing adaptation measures in Africa comes from the private sector according to a GCA report.
Mohieldin also rejected the notion that that mitigation measures reduce greenhouse gases in general while adaptation measures make an impact only locally.
He said any dismissal of adaptation measures would lead to dire consequences in different communities, raise tensions all over the world, and raise the numbers of refugees significantly.
Mohieldin concluded by saying that the recent regional conferences, organised by Egypt as the president of the COP27 in cooperation in cooperation with the UN regional economic commissions as well as HLCs, provide an example of how to generate discussions between governments and private sector to identify tens of promising PPP opportunities.