Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt, speaking during a session about financing climate action on the second day of COP27 that takes place in Sharm El Sheikh, with the participation of many African ministers and representatives of international and regional organizations. (Photo courtesy of Mohieldin s media office)
Mohieldin's remarks came during his participation in a session about financing climate action on the second day of the 27th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) that takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh, with the participation of many African ministers and representatives of international and regional organisations.
"In the time the world is suffering from the impacts of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, the developing countries are asked to pay the cost of the climate crisis despite the fact that they didn't contribute to it. This makes financing climate action in the developing countries unfair considering the increasing number of countries that suffer from debt distress, according to the IMF and the World Bank," Mohieldin said.
Mohieldin noted that financing climate action in the developing countries is inefficient as the negotiating process between states and financing and investment entities takes a long time and this postpones the climate action in these countries.
Climate financing, he added, is insufficient as there is an annual $1.3 trillion gap between the available and required funds, beside the fact that many of the developed countries do not fulfil their pledges to finance climate action in the developing countries.
Thirteen years ago, in Copenhagen’s COP15, advanced economies had pledged $100 billion to help developing economies achieve climate action goals.
The pledge was endorsed by the 2015 Paris Agreement and was enforced a year later with the aim of decreasing global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Mohieldin praised the efforts of the African and developing countries to provide and apply climate action financing solutions through linking public budgets to development and climate action, activating the innovative finance instruments and debt swaps for co-investing in the environment and climate projects.
He praised good models of financing climate action through soft grants and loans including the IDA model that allows long-term repayment periods and low interest rates.
However, he added, “it is better that financing climate action does not depend on debt, but rather on establishing carbon markets and activating debt reduction mechanisms and debt swaps.”
The participants in the session said it is important to deal immediately with climate change impacts and address the resulting losses and damages.
They added that it is also necessary to provide fair climate financing methods that aim to reduce debt in the developing countries, co-invest in climate projects, and enhance equal investing in mitigation and adaptation measures.
COP27 is held under the title Together for Implementation, with hopes high to translate climate pledges into action and ensure commitments on financing climate action in developing states are fulfilled.