COP27 and COP28 insights by Mohieldin: Mobilizing funding for climate action vs. accelerating just energy transition

Ahram Online , Friday 3 Nov 2023

Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt, highlighted the contrast between COP27 and COP28, indicating that COP27 focused on mobilizing funds for climate action, while COP28's primary emphasis is on speeding up the just energy transition to achieve emissions reduction targets.

UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin. Photo courtesy of Mahmoud Mohieldin s Media Office


The remarks of Mohieldin, who is also the UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, came during a webinar organized by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) entitled “What to Expect from COP28” on Friday.

He pointed out that during COP27 there was a significant focus on climate finance. The discussions, Mohieldin said, centered on reforming International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to enhance their role in financing climate action. This includes reducing the risks associated with investing in climate and development projects in developing countries.

He indicated that COP27 also emphasized the importance of creating policies and regulatory frameworks that would encourage the private sector and corporations to finance and implement climate action.

Mohieldin said that the conference also prioritized the discovery of climate and development projects that are viable, fundable, and actionable at the regional and local levels.

This pursuit was facilitated through the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects, initiated by the Egyptian conference presidency in collaboration with the UN regional commissions and High-Level Champions (HLCs), he added.

Furthermore, Mohieldin highlighted that Egypt introduced the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects (NISGP) during the conference. These projects primarily emphasize sustainability and cutting-edge technology.

He emphasized that during COP27, the primary focus was on the creation of inventive financial mechanisms and debt swaps to facilitate investments in nature and climate.

Additionally, it placed significant importance on the establishment of carbon markets in developing nations, which can finance their climate and development initiatives.

In this context, he said the conference marked the launch of the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI), which has gained considerable traction and momentum over the past months.

Mohieldin further highlighted his involvement with various climate initiatives such as the Green Climate Fund, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), and its continental branch, the GFANZ Africa Network.

COP28: Eyeing 2030’s agreed emission reduction targets

Concerning COP28, Mohieldin clarified that the UAE conference presidency is focused on expediting the equitable energy transition to meet the established emissions reduction goals by 2030.

The Dubai conference will also promote investment in projects related to nature and biodiversity, alongside investments in human capital and capacity building, he noted.

According to Mohieldin, COP28 will call for a larger role for the private sector and philanthropists in implementing climate action.

He highlighted that the conference will also unveil the Global Stocktake (GST) results, which will aid stakeholders in assessing accomplishments and setting future priorities.

Mohieldin elaborated on the urgency for the world to expedite efforts to halve carbon emissions by 2030, a task achievable through a fair energy transition.

This transition, he said, encompasses the gradual elimination of polluting energy sources like coal, oil, and gas while directing investments toward renewable alternatives in an equitable way.

Mohieldin stated that implementing climate action in developing countries requires mobilizing $2.4 trillion a year, of which $1.4 trillion is from domestic funding resources, $500 billion from the private sector, $300 billion from MDBs, and about $200 billion from concessional financing.

Additionally, he said there is a need to provide guidance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) regarding their environmental and climate performance.

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