A file photo Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin. Photo : Ahram Online
His remarks came during his virtual participation in HLC COP27 Media Briefing alongside Ambassador Wael Abu Elmagd, Special Representative of the Designated President of COP27, and Nigel Topping, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion at COP26.
Mohieldin cited Africa where 600 million people lack energy sources. He pointed out that if developed countries do not provide both financial support and the required technologies to renewable energy projects in Africa, they will force Africans to use non-eco-friendly energy sources, such as fossil fuels, thus exacerbating the climate crisis.
He stressed the importance of a pragmatic approach whereby climate action – which has for so long been confined to policies, initiatives and regulations discussed by governments, international organisations and companies – is translated into actual practices that can be felt by inhabitants of cities and villages.
In this context, the climate champion referred to the National Initiative for Smart and Green Projects launched by Egypt to localise development and climate action at the level of governorates, including more than 6000 projects covering all aspects of climate action.
"The initiative reflected the high awareness about climate issues of all categories of the Egyptian community including women and youth, it also proved the necessity of scaling up the participation of universities and research centers and holding partnerships that support climate science research," he said.
Mohieldin also noted that implementing climate action is the most important message of COP27, which aims to maintain the momentum in the progressing sectors and to give a strong push to slowly progressing ones.
The conference, he said, focuses on financing and implementing adaptation and mitigation measures equally and on dealing with losses and damages.
The climate champion said that 50 development and climate projects, resulting from the five regional roundtables initiative, will be showcased in COP27 (with 10 projects for every region), adding that the projects vary in terms of their sectors, sizes and their climate action aspects.
"The initiative aimed at enhancing collaboration between countries of the same region in terms of development and climate action, besides making deals about the mechanisms of financing and implementing them." Mohieldin noted.
Regarding climate finance, The COP27 champion said that it is important that the developed countries fulfil their Copenhagen pledge of financing climate action in developing countries by $ 100 billion annually, saying that fulfiling this pledge will pave the way to fulfil more commitments and pledges.
"COP27 will discuss reducing financing climate action on a debt basis; benefiting from soft grants and loans (according to International Development Association (IDA) criteria); activating debt swaps for investment in climate and environment; blending public and private finance; establishing carbon markets on European standards according to criteria that suit the priorities and circumstances of the economies of developing countries and emerging markets; enhancing environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESGs) according to specific criteria to avoid greenwashing; and guaranteeing the fulfilment of obligations," Mohieldin explained.
He also highlighted the important role of National Development Banks (NDBs) in climate action, through participating in financing projects, de-risking financing and investing in climate action. In addition, these banks will contribute to climate action through collaborating with governments to adjust their policies in a way that enhances public financing and encourages private sector participation in financing and implementing climate projects.