Debt swaps crucial for funding climate action in developing countries: Mohieldin at COP28

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Dec 2023

Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN climate change high-level champion for Egypt, emphasized the significance of implementing debt swaps as a key mechanism to finance climate and development initiatives in developing countries.

Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt, attends a session at COP28 in Dubai on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Mohieldin's Media Office


The UN Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda Mohieldin asserted that achieving fair and efficient financing for climate and development initiatives in developing nations involves diminishing reliance on debt and embracing new policies for concessional finance.

This came in a session titled "A Dialogue on the Ubuntu Initiative: Using Debt to Finance Climate Adaptation" at COP28 that he attended in Dubai on Wednesday.

Addressing the climate finance gap in developing countries, estimated at $2.4 trillion annually, necessitates mobilizing funds from domestic resources and reforming International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) by augmenting their capital, Mohieldin elaborated.

This enhancement, he said, would enable them to fulfill their role in financing both climate and development initiatives.

Mohieldin noted the Bangladesh platform for financing mitigation and climate adaptation activities as a model for the required partnerships between governments, the private sector, IFIs, and MDBs, emphasizing the need to link countries' public budgets to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a session on the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, Mohieldin stressed the need to accelerate the implementation of the agenda, whose main areas of action contribute to implementing several SDGs related to food and water security, marine life protection, the green transition of cities, and enhancing infrastructure resilience.

He highlighted that the private sector's contribution to financing climate adaptation remains below three percent, underscoring the imperative to enhance private sector involvement in funding and executing adaptation initiatives.

This includes adopting technological solutions to attain climate change adaptation objectives, he noted, emphasizing that this necessitates fostering initiatives at both local and regional levels to complement the global endeavor in this regard.

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