High-level climate champion Mahmoud Mohieldin took center stage at COP28 in Dubai, urging for a swift and equitable scaling-up of climate finance in Africa.
Moderating the session “Africa’s Sustainable Future: Mobilizing Climate Finance at Scale,” Mohieldin emphasized the critical need to bridge the gap between climate and development funding.
He advocated for a holistic approach that recognizes climate action as an integral part of development, and climate finance solutions as drivers for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The session delved into pertinent topics like debt management, carbon markets, and projects stemming from the Regional Platforms for Climate Projects (RPCP) initiative in Africa. It convened a diverse panel, including Mohamed Maait, Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, lead negotiator for COP27, and representatives from international organizations like GFANZ and UNDP.
Mohieldin underscored the significance of the Loss and Damage Fund launched at COP27 and its activation at COP28. He viewed it as a pivotal step towards correcting imbalances in mitigation and adaptation financing and implementation. He further stressed the urgency of accelerating climate action and setting clear timelines for financing and implementing initiatives.
The climate champion commended the UAE’s launch of a dedicated climate action fund, praising its commitment to capacity building and technical assistance for developing countries. He also lauded the success of the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) second replenishment, securing $12.4 billion in pledges from 29 countries.
Mohieldin highlighted the Bangladesh platform for financing mitigation and adaptation, co-developed with the IMF, as a model for collaborative partnerships between governments, the private sector, IFIs, and MDBs. He acknowledged that while certain industrial and trade policies from developed nations might hinder developing countries’ competitiveness, they also presented opportunities for cooperation. Developed nations could offer technical assistance and support decarbonization efforts in hard-to-abate sectors.
Carbon market creation and wider application of debt swap mechanisms were also identified as crucial strategies for enhancing developing countries’ ability to finance their climate and development goals.
In a separate session, Mohieldin championed Egypt’s National Initiative for Smart Green Projects (NISGP) as a model for local-level climate and development action. He emphasized its success in involving diverse local actors and diversifying project categories, reflecting a core objective of COP27 – strengthening the local dimension of climate action.
Mohieldin attributed the initiative’s remarkable achievement of attracting 12,000 projects within two years to the direct support of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, and collaborative efforts across ministries, governorates, and local entities. This resulted in an investment map encompassing all of Egypt’s governorates.
Finally, during the “Africa Investment Leaders Summit,” Mohieldin highlighted the RPCP initiative’s instrumental role in identifying and advancing promising climate investment opportunities in Africa. He reiterated the initiative’s goal of finding bankable, implementable projects, a goal it has achieved with over 400 projects identified globally.
Mohieldin concluded by emphasizing the need for continued collaboration between governments, the private sector, and financial institutions. By mobilizing funding, providing technical assistance, and fostering enabling regulatory frameworks, stakeholders can collectively propel Africa’s sustainable future through robust, equitable climate finance.