File Photo: Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Mohieldin remarks came during his speech via video to the event titled "Economist's Impact Sustainable Week: Countdown to COP27" held in Abu Dhabi.
The event was attended by John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate; Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology; and a number of high-level officials, heads of companies and businessmen from all over the world.
Mohieldin, who is also the UN special envoy on financing 2030 sustainable development agenda, said that achieving net zero is not impossible, but it requires a pragmatic approach, scientific solutions and unifying regional and international efforts.
It also requires dealing realistically with the energy sector's challenges including with the failure in some cases around the world to make adequate transitions in the sector, he added.
Net zero refers to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the point where they are equal to the amount being removed from the atmosphere.
Mohieldin highlighted the importance of the wisely managing the energy sector transition, especially when it comes to implementing new technologies.
He pointed to the necessity of investing in scientific research, developing energy technologies, seizing the opportunities related to solar energy, wind, green hydrogen and other green alternatives.
He explained that current crises, especially the war in Ukraine, proved the urgent need to diversify energy sources and enhance regional cooperation in this field.
Mohieldin said that financing the energy sector transition should not depend only on governments, pointing to the importance of public-private-partnerships (PPPs). He also praised the role of the private sector in financing and implementing mitigation measures in developed and developing countries.
The climate champion stressed that the energy sector transition requires scaling up and increasing PPPs, enhancing the joint work between state and non-state actors, and depending more on think tanks and scientific research centres in finding solutions that catalyst climate action.