Egypt-ICF 2022 asserts need for concessional, blended finances to accelerate climate action in Africa

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 7 Sep 2022

The Second edition of Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF 2022) asserted the need for the international community to move from pledges to implementation in terms fulfilling its climate finance commitments.

ICF
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi with officials and African ministers pose for an image before the start of Egypt-ICF 2022 on Wednesday 7 September, 2022. Photo courtesy of Egyptian spokesman Facebook page.

 

Egypt-ICF 2022 urged developing countries to increase blended and concessional finances as well as the grants they extend to developing countries and African economies to accelerate their adaptation and mitigation efforts.

The second edition of Egypt-ICF kicked off on Wednesday at the New Administrative Capital under the patronage of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry said that 20 countries are responsible for 80 percent of total global emissions, while 24 countries in Africa cause only 0.55 percent of these emissions.

“Meanwhile, 65 percent of the global GDP has committed $100 billion to be delivered to developing countries for mitigation and adaptation efforts. We hope that COP27 will help us to push for that,” Kerry said.

In this respect, Kerry asserted that these 20 countries must allocate more funds to fight climate change.

“While $755 billion was allocated in 2021 to counter the impacts of climate change, this sum was not enough to do so,” Kerry noted.

Kerry added that the US has allocated $11.4 billion to face the implications of climate change, but this was not enough as well, asserting the necessity for developed countries to support developing ones in this mission.

Kerry called for increasing blended and concessional finances for climate action as well as boosting private sector investments in climate action financing.

Kerry thanked President El-Sisi and the government of Egypt for inviting him to attend the Forum as well as inviting him to attend COP27.

For his part, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance and co-chair for the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) Mark Carney announced on Wednesday the lunch of GFANZ Africa with the aim boosting climate action on the continent.

“The continent is in the unjust position of having contributed the least to the problem, 3 percent of the cumulative emissions despite having 70 percent of the global population, contributing the least to the problem, but suffering its worst effects,” Carney added, while highlighting that there are significant opportunities for Africa.

“We need to work together to create new ways of mobilising capital to overcome long standing barriers to sustainable development in Africa, and this will require bold actions by donor governments and multilateral development banks to address the risks that the private sector cannot readily shoulder,” Carney stated.

He stated that to make a radical change, this requires the development of well-functioning, high-integrity carbon markets and it will require the private sector to follow through to deploy capital and scale investment opportunities that are aligned with net zero commitments. 

Carney said that this prospect has been created by the commitment of many of the world's largest financial institutions to manage their collective balance sheets, which totalled over $130 trillion in line with the Paris agreement. 

“And now is the time to turn those pledges into action,” he said.

“We use our convening power to encourage governments and multilateral development banks to provide the necessary concessional finance, adjust transition and adaptation in Africa,” he said.

“We know that sustainability is about much more than mitigation, something that Egypt's strategies, its policies, its actions demonstrate.”

Carney affirmed that there will be no sustainability without growth, resilience, and adaptation, and the contributions therefore must be contributions of the private sector.

President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud Basso announced the EBRD’s support for the Egyptian government in implementing the energy pillar of the national Nexus of Water, Food, and Energy (NWFE) program.

She highlighted the key features of the EBRD’s support for the energy pillar, which includes the ambitious and rapid development of the generating capacity for renewables, exploiting Egypt’s world-class solar and wind resources, and the targeted deployment of public money to unlock massive private investment.

On the recently approved Climate Country Strategy, Basso stated that this has three main priorities: the promotion of a more inclusive economy for Egyptian businesses, women, and youth, accelerating Egypt’s green transition, and enhancing Egypt’s competitiveness.

“We only started working in the country 10 years ago, but since then we have invested almost $10 billion here across a very wide range of sectors, so we have helped Egypt green its economy and generate growth and opportunities for its citizens across the country,” Basso said.

Basso asserted that Africa as a continent, and Egypt in particular, are blessed with extraordinary renewable energy resources, so the EBRD is determined to do its best to support the exploitation of those resources.

Furthermore, Basso asserted the importance of public and private sector partnership, highlighting the pressures that all governments face today.

“They make us believe in our mission even more strongly than before. The EBRD is a public bank with the mission of mobilising the private sector to unlock innovation, efficiency, and diversity in the delivery of public goods.”

Egypt-ICF 2022 and the Meeting of African Ministers of Economy, Finance and Environment represent a platform for governments, multilateral and bilateral development partners, philanthropic foundations, the private sector, think tanks and civil society to consider the challenges the continent is facing and explore avenues for overcoming them.

Moreover, Egypt-ICF 2022 is a platform to discuss the mechanisms of achieving the fair green transition in Africa.

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