Calling for restructuring the global finance system is one key outcome of COP27: UN Climate Change Champion

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Dec 2022

Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that calling for restructuring the global finance system to be more fair and efficient in financing developmental and climate action is one of the most important outcomes of COP27.

Mahmoud Mohieldin
UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin

Mohieldin's remarks came during his participation in the COP27-related briefing session of the Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24). G-24, which was established in 1971 as a chapter of the Group of 77 (G-77), aims to facilitate coordination between developing countries on monetary and development issues.

The UN high level champion stated that the outcomes of COP27 included for the first time efficient plans and initiatives to finance climate action, and that financing climate action came out as "the biggest winner" in Sharm El-Sheikh's conference.

Furthermore, the conference , he said, saw the effective participation of the private sector, and the activation of tools that enhance developing countries' capabilities to finance climate action and reduce depending on debts.

Mohieldin noted that COP27 witnessed the issuing of "Mobilizing Finance for Climate Action" report, which includes many important recommendations that give impetus to climate financing. He stated that the report also  highlights debt swaps as a new and innovative solution for climate action financing that helps ease debt burdens on developing countries, and he showcased successful models of debt swaps on KPIs basis.

Moreover, the champion said that the results of the five regional roundtables held by the Egyptian presidency of COP27 together with the UN regional economic commissions and High Level Champions (HLCs) have been showcased during the conference. He highlighted that the conference gave priority to enhancing the local dimension of climate action through presenting the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects, an unprecedented Egyptian initiative that could be replicable in other countries.

In addition, Mohieldin stressed that the carbon markets launched during the conference constituted one of the innovative ways to mobilise financing for climate action and reduce emissions – he was referring to the launch of the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative during the conference.

He indicated that during the conference greenwashing received much attention since a report was issued by a high-level group of experts, commissioned by the UN Secretary General, to set the rules for non-state actors, including corporations, investors, cities and regions, to deliver their promises of achieving NetZero emissions.

"COP27 paid much attention to adaptation, loss and damage files as defense lines in confronting climate change, especially that decarbonisation is facing challenges," Mohieldin stated. He added that the conference recognised for the first time the necessity of committing to providing climate financing through establishing the Loss and Damage Fund which aims to help developing countries face the natural and human losses and damages that accompany climate change.

Furthermore, the climate champion referred to Sharm El-Sheikh's Adaptation Agenda which was launched by the Egyptian presidency of COP27 and by the UN HLCs. The agenda, he said, aims to achieve resilience for 4 billion people by 2030 by achieving 30 adaptation outcomes globally in five major areas: food and agriculture, water and nature, coasts and oceans, human settlements, and infrastructures. The agenda also involves working on providing required financing and planning.

He also highlighted the Early Warning System initiative, which was announced by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as one of COP27's achievements in the field of adaptation. The initiative, he said, will draw $301 billion worth of investments annually between 2023 and 2027.

In addition, Mohieldin noted that the conference also witnessed the announcement of Nairobi Declaration which aims to provide $14 billion through financing facilities to improve adaptation measures against different kinds of natural disasters in Africa.

On the subject of mitigation and decarbonisation, the climate champion explained that COP27 has called for maintaining the goal of reducing global warming by 1.5 degree celsius against all odds.  

"Sharm El-Sheikh conference represents a new start for linking financing and implementation and for both developmental and climate action," Mohieldin said. He warned that any failure in confronting climate change will necessarily lead to failure in achieving related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as fighting poverty and providing job opportunities.

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