Mahmoud Mohieldin, the UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and the UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, has stressed that technology and finance are key elements for achieving adaptation of the food and agriculture sector to climate change and thus achieving food security.
This came during his participation in the annual regional meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Office for the Near East and North Africa, with the participation of David Nabarro, WHO Envoy on Coronavirus, Maximo Torrero, Chief Economist at FAO, and a number of officials of FAO regional offices.
Mohieldin said that the global food and agriculture sector has been affected by successive crises, especially the Covid-19 and the current geopolitical crisis which resulted in declining food security, as well as the sector’s need to adapt to the negative effects of climate change.
Mohieldin explained that providing scientific and technological solutions beside the required funding are necessary to achieve adaptation in general, and in the food and agriculture sector in particular, explaining that Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda has paid attention to this vital sector and its adaptation to climate change by proposing obvious mechanisms and financing methods that need to be activated.
Mohieldin referred to the importance of the FAST initiative launched by the Egypt presidency of COP27 during the conference for a sustainable transition that pushes the work forward in this vital sector.
In this context, the Climate Champion stressed the need for the global financing system to be restructured to achieve adequate and equitable attention to the countries and societies most affected by global crises, and whose resources have been strained by these crises, explaining that the availability of accurate and up-to-date data on the economic conditions of countries and societies is very important in this regard.
Mohieldin said that financing climate action as a whole, and the adaptation of the food and agriculture sector in particular, requires the adoption of concessional financing systems by international financial organizations and development banks at an interest rate not exceeding 1% and long-term grace and repayment periods, noting the importance of concessional financing to cover middle-income countries as well as low-income countries.
Mohieldin stressed the importance of financing in the form of investments in food and agriculture systems in developing countries and emerging markets, beside activating debt reduction mechanisms and debt swaps for investing in nature and climate.
Mohieldin explained that the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects launched by the Egyptian government, as well as the five regional roundtables initiative launched by the Egyptian presidency of the COP27 in cooperation with the United Nations regional economic commissions and the HLCs, created a distinguished set of environment and climate projects, some of which relate to the adaptation of food and agriculture, stressing the importance of the participation of the private sector in financing adaptation measures to allow the progress of climate action as a whole and achieve the desired goals.