There is a need to address the financing disparities for development and climate efforts, particularly in Africa, said Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the World Bank Group (WBG) Rania Al-Mashat on Wednesday.
The minister’s remarks came during her participation in the activities of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the NDC Partnership on Greening the Financial Sector: Needs and opportunities of developing countries and the role of development cooperation, which was held within the framework of the 2022 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) & the WBG in Washington.
Al-Mashat said that sustainable development and climate action have become a major part of any country’s development agenda, explaining that Egypt is launching its national strategies with multilateral and bilateral development partners based on this approach, intertwining climate and development.
The minister also indicated that the war in Europe and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic pose major challenges to development efforts, the most important of which is the financing disparities.
As an example, the minister said that Africa only received $19bn worth of development financing to support its development and climate actions efforts, while $250 billion is needed to fund the NDC implementation gap.
Al-Mashat also pointed to the disparity between mitigation and adaptation projects, where adaptation projects receive only 20% of the financing. However, the current successive crises reflected that food and water security are indispensable priorities that are required to build resilience to future shocks.
Moreover, Al-Mashat stressed that no government is capable of achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) and climate action alone, but rather global cooperation — including governments, the private sector, and philanthropic organisations — is needed.
The minister explained that over the past period, a Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Financing was prepared in cooperation with about 70 development partners, international financial institutions, and commercial and investment banks, noting that it will be launched on Finance Day in the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) that will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh this November.
Al-Mashat elaborated that the guidebook aims to develop a practical framework to achieve integration among all relevant parties in terms of climate finance to enhance the availability of development finance in developing countries and to utilise it through investment opportunities in environmentally friendly sectors by determining an action plan and operational measures that can be implemented by all parties. This falls within the framework of Egypt’s COP27 presidency under the slogan ‘From Pledges to Implementation.’
The minister also discussed Egypt’s country platform for the NWFE programme — a nexus of water, food, and energy projects aiming to accelerate the pace of inclusive and sustainable development, while also mobilising climate finance and private sector investments that support the green transition within the 2050 National Strategy for Climate Change and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
Al-Mashat added that the NWFE programme reflects the objectives of the COP27’s Egyptian presidency, which is to move from pledges to implementation by progressing on the climate action agenda and by mobilising development funds in priority sectors — namely water, food, and energy.
This workshop was held to look into the following themes — the relevance of greening financial sectors for mobilising private sector investment, enabling developing countries to develop towards a green transition, and ensuring access to finance and financial inclusion to build resilience.
It is worth noting that the NDC Partnership brings together more than 200 members, including over 115 developed and developing countries and more than 80 institutions to promote actions aiming to achieve climate ambitions as per the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.