Mahmoud Mohieldin, high-level UN climate change champion for Egypt and UN special envoy for financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, highlighted the critical moment the world finds itself facing climate change, with alarming rates of warming in regions like the Middle East. and parts of Africa.
He stressed the paramount importance of mobilizing adequate and equitable financing as the first and most crucial step towards achieving the necessary goals of reducing emissions, adapting to climate change and mitigating losses and damages associated with the phenomenon.
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 finance and development ahead of COP28 in Dubai.
Mohieldin cited international reports indicating that global financing for climate action averaged around $1.27 trillion in 2021/2022.
However, this funding remains largely biased towards mitigation activities, with 91% allocated to such projects, while adaptation projects received only 5% of total climate funding and dual benefit projects received some. 4%. Additionally, reports found that 61% of climate finance for that year was in the form of debt, posing a significant threat to economic stability amid global economic pressures facing developing countries.
In this context, Mohieldin highlighted the need for developing countries and emerging markets to access around $5.3 trillion per year to finance the SDGs, of which around $2.4 trillion is specifically earmarked for climate action .
To close the climate finance gap, Mohieldin highlighted the importance of strengthening regional and local dimensions to facilitate increased financing for climate projects. He mentioned the Regional Climate Project Platforms (RPCP) launched by the Egyptian presidency of COP27 in collaboration with the United Nations regional commissions and the CHNs.
The UAE Presidency of COP28 participated in the second edition of the RPCP, aimed at identifying investable, bankable and feasible 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 financial instruments, debt swaps for investments in nature and climate, and the creation of carbon markets, particularly in developing countries, as effective mechanisms to finance climate and development action.
Mohieldin said climate finance reform is a key objective of COP28 in Dubai. The conference will focus on the need for all countries to meet their climate finance commitments, particularly the $100 billion pledged by developed countries to support climate action in developing countries each year.
This promised amount currently represents a tiny fraction of the funding required. The conference will also highlight the need to restructure the global financial system to serve development and climate goals in tandem.