Adequate, equitable finance is crucial to achieving climate targets: Mahmoud Mohieldin

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read

Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, has emphasized the critical juncture at which the world stands in the face of climate change, with alarming warming rates in regions such as the Middle East and parts of Africa. 

He underscored the paramount importance of mobilizing adequate and equitable finance as the first and most crucial step towards achieving the necessary goals of emissions reduction, climate change adaptation, and mitigation of the phenomenon’s associated loss and damage.

His remarks came during his participation in the meeting of the Group of Friends on Climate and Security, chaired by the Permanent Missions of Morocco and France to the United Nations. The meeting discussed the future of climate and development finance ahead of COP28 in Dubai.

Mohieldin cited international reports indicating that global climate action funding averaged around $1.27 trillion in 2021/2022. 

However, this funding remains largely skewed towards mitigation activities, with 91% allocated to such projects, while adaptation projects received only 5% of total climate finance, and dual-benefit projects received 4%. Additionally, reports revealed that 61% of climate finance for that year was in the form of debt, posing a significant threat to economic stability amidst the global economic pressures faced by developing nations.

In this context, Mohieldin highlighted the need for developing countries and emerging markets to access approximately $5.3 trillion annually to finance the SDGs, of which about $2.4 trillion is specifically for climate action.

To bridge the climate finance gap, Mohieldin emphasized the importance of strengthening regional and local dimensions to facilitate increased funding for climate projects. He referred to the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects (RPCP) launched by the Egyptian Presidency of COP27 in collaboration with the United Nations regional commissions and the HLCs. 

The UAE Presidency of COP28 participated in the second edition of the RPCP, aiming to identify investable, bankable, and implementable climate projects. He also highlighted the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects (NISGP) launched by the Egyptian government as a model for localizing development and climate action.

The climate champion affirmed the importance of activating innovative finance instruments, debt swaps for investment in nature and climate, and the establishment of carbon markets, particularly in developing countries, as effective mechanisms to finance climate and development action.

Mohieldin stated that reforming climate finance is a key objective of COP28 in Dubai. The conference will emphasize the need for all countries to fulfill their climate finance commitments, particularly the $100bn pledged by developed nations to annually support climate action in developing countries. 

This pledged amount currently represents a minuscule fraction of the required finance. The conference will also highlight the need to restructure the global financial system to serve both development and climate goals in tandem.

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