Egypt's participation in the first African Regional Forum for Climate Initiatives
Sunday، 07 August 2022 - 01:18 PM
The African Regional Forum for Climate Initiatives was held in Addis Ababa from 2-4 August 2022 as the first of the five major regional forums on climate finance for Africa to be held in preparation for COP27 to be hosted by Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022.
The five regional forums aim to create effective partnerships between relevant parties to enhance government and private investments in climate projects, stimulate financing tools and investment opportunities in clean energy projects, food security and digital transformation, shed light on successful models in different countries, and promote joint work between different working groups. This includes development partners and investors to study tools and initiatives to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Paris Climate Agreement, and call for transparent efforts that allow developing countries to meet their climate investments.
The second forum is scheduled to be held in Bangkok, the headquarters of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the “Asia-Pacific” region, on August 25. While the third forum Santiago, the headquarters of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, on September 1-2. The fourth forum dedicated to the Arab countries is scheduled to be held in Beirut, The headquarters of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), on September 15.
The initiative concludes with the holding of the Fifth Forum in Geneva, the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Europe, on September 20, and the results of these meetings will be presented at the Sharm el-Sheikh conference in November.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, President-designate of the 27th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, delivered a recorded speech on the priorities of the Egyptian presidency of the conference, within the framework of a round table entitled “African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives, Financing Climate Action and Sustainable Development Goals.”
The speech emphasized the importance of focusing on taking faster steps in the field of confronting climate change, in addition to focusing on implementing international commitments in this regard through concrete projects, benefiting from relevant international success stories, and working to provide the required financing.
The speech also referred to the ongoing international challenges that require collective action in support of the international agenda in the field of climate change.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, participated virtually, in a high-level session within the Addis Ababa regional workshop on climate action, which is one of five regional forums held in cooperation between the United Nations, the Egyptian Presidency of the United Nations Climate Conference COP27, and the high-level climate action pioneers of the Climate Conference.
The session was moderated by Ms. Chibede Morimung, from Africa 50 Foundation. It witnessed the attendance of the Minister of International Cooperation, Mr. Alfonso Somoren, Regional Officer of the African Development Bank, Ms. Patti Karuhei, Managing Director of the Reinsurance Company of Namibia, Ms. Daniel Hana, President of Sustainable Finance at Standard Chartered Bank, and Mr. Thomas Mahle, Managing Director of sfr-consulting.
In her speech, the Minister of International Cooperation added that the National Strategy for Climate Change aims to advance climate action, enhance adaptation efforts and mitigate the repercussions of climate change through projects in various sectors, and meet development needs in a way that enhances job opportunities and stimulates private sector participation in efforts to achieve sustainable development and reduces harmful emissions and supports climate finance opportunities.
She added that the Ministry of International Cooperation, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, launched the “Noufi” program to finance the list of green government projects in the fields of energy, food and water, under the umbrella of the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050, in the framework of Egypt’s preparations for the climate conference and in support of national efforts in the field of climate change.
She explained that a joint coordination cooperation platform was held with various multilateral and bilateral development partners and details of the program were presented to support international participation in supporting national efforts to achieve comprehensive and sustainable growth through green projects.
She stated that the “Noufi” program reflects the direction of the Egyptian state and its intention to move from commitments towards implementation with regard to climate action, and stimulates the efforts of the international community to promote climate action and provide funds and investments for the transition to a green economy, through an integrated approach, pointing out that it is the mechanism that the Ministry of International Cooperation will work Through it, to promote the list of green development projects in the water, food and energy sectors, which come at the forefront of the state’s steps to implement the National Climate Change Strategy 2050, and mobilize the efforts of the international community to support the green transformation in Egypt.
She stated that the launch of the program witnessed international and regional interest by international financial institutions and multilateral development banks, to make available soft development funds and stimulate the participation of the private sector through a balance between adaptation, mitigation and resilience projects.
The Minister of International Cooperation highlighted that the Egypt-ICF Forum will be held in early September, just two months before the climate summit, asserting that it will be an important gathering of relevant parties from the governmental and private sectors, multilateral development banks and financing institutions. International, African Ministers of Finance and Environment, to enhance discussions and prepare for the “Finance Day”, which will be held at COP27, in addition to discussing the African vision to mobilize and direct the efforts of the international community towards supporting climate action on the continent.
During her participation via video conferencing in a forum entitled “Towards COP27: Regional Forums on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs”, the Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad expounded Egypt’s experiment in Green Bond Issuance to finance twining projects, in a way that would help face up to climate changes and reduce carbon emissions.
She said that Egypt has a convenient strategy in this regard since long ago, which is updated regularly.
She, also, referred to long-term public fund programmes aimed at fighting coastal erosion in the various Egyptian governorates and protecting the Nile River Delta.
For his part, Executive Chairman for the Egyptian Exchange Mohamed Farid Saleh underscored the Bourse’s role in garnering financial support to finance ventures fighting climate change repercussions.
He added that the Egyptian Stock Exchange was behind the initiative launched by the United States in 2012, and now more than 100 stock exchanges around the world participate in it to reduce the risks of investing in projects related to confronting and limiting climate changes.
The CEO of the Egyptian Stock Exchange called for launching a continental platform by issuing and benefiting from green bonds and using them to finance various climate projects and projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance sustainability.
Dr. Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, participated in the discussion session on “Financial means to finance just transitions” via video conference, which was held within the activities of the “Road to COP27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives, Financing Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals”, which was hosted by Addis Ababa from 2 to 4 August, with high-level Egyptian participation.
This forum is among five regional forums held in cooperation between the Egyptian Presidency of the United Nations Climate Conference COP27, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the high-level climate action pioneers of the COP27 Climate Conference and the previous climate conference in Glasgow COP26 under the title “Towards the COP27 Climate Summit: Regional Forums on Climate Initiatives Climate finance and the sustainable development goals.
During her participation, Dr. Hala Al-Saeed said that the discussion on Africa has begun to shift from a dialogue about risks and challenges to huge opportunities and possibilities, continuing that the motivation behind this change in outlook is the remarkable progress that the continent has witnessed in various fields, especially achieving significant economic growth and eliminating Poverty, improved living standards and a significantly improved business environment, thanks to the implementation of major reforms.
Al-Said added, in a press release, today, Friday, that despite these bright prospects, Africa has recently faced multiple global challenges, from a widespread pandemic to escalating geopolitical challenges. This undermines efforts towards achieving Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, following up on that the challenges facing the continent are only expected to worsen with climate change entering the equation.
Al-Saeed explained that although Africa’s contribution to climate change is negligible, it stands out as the region most vulnerable to its impacts, adding that failure to take immediate action not only leads to setbacks to development efforts, but also threatens to reverse the gains made by African countries in Last few years.
Al-Said stressed that any bold climate action will not be achieved without the adequate funding needed to support efforts directed towards adaptation, adding that, according to recent forecasts, Africa needs $250 billion annually, between 2020 and 2030, to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions, leading to increase pressures on the continent and its ability to achieve development goals, indicating that the issue of financing, especially for Africa, is expected to be placed at the top of the agenda during the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties.
Al-Saeed pointed to the role of the private sector in mobilizing financing tools, pointing to the evolution of the role of companies in combating climate change over time, as well as gaining great importance recently with the increasing pressure on government resources and technical capabilities, stressing the importance of encouraging private investment not only in To address the funding shortfalls mentioned above but also to build innovative capabilities and promote advanced technological solutions needed to face the critical crisis of the current era.
Al-Saeed also touched on the important role that companies play as providers of high levels of employment and the creation of new markets, which contributes to compensating for the disappearance of jobs and markets, ensuring a fair transition for all, stressing the need to consider partnership between the public and private sectors among effective and innovative tools in project financing. Climate-related issues, explaining that by integrating resources, PPPs can help achieve major successes as they provide a number of benefits.
Al-Said affirmed the Egyptian government’s commitment to building an attractive investment climate to encourage more private investments, especially in green sectors and activities, noting that the government has put in place a wide range of legislative and institutional reforms such as investment and bankruptcy laws, as well as amending the Public-Private Partnership Law to expand the scope of projects, in which the private sector can participate.
Al-Saeed indicated that the government launched a package of financial and non-financial incentives to stimulate private investment in green sectors such as renewable energy, waste management and clean transportation, stressing that the government gives priority to pushing public-private partnerships mainly through the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, which was established as a mechanism Reliable for the government to co-invest with local and foreign partners.
Al-Saeed stressed the need to take serious and ambitious steps to confront the prevailing financing challenges, which impede investment in recovery, climate action and achieving sustainable development goals in Africa, as well as the importance of increasing financial flows to Africa through collective action by all parties, with the participation of the private sector.
Al-Saeed concluded by referring to the vision of Egypt’s presidency of COP 27, which aims to ensure the effective implementation of the green transition in the world quickly, taking into account the special needs and conditions of the African continent.
The Closing Session
Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt, addressed the closing session of the “Road to COP27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives, Financing Climate Action and Sustainable Development Goals”.
During his speech, Mohieldin said that this forum, which is one of five regional roundtables Egypt will be holding over the coming two months in its role as president of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in an unprecedented initiative to catalyze investments in different climate sectors, succeeded in breaking down barriers between all parties in climate action, and came out with good results for financing projects that would achieve the various goals of climate action.
Mohieldin said that the African Forum succeeded in putting climate projects and various financing agencies on one table, and discussed ways to invest in the various axes of climate action, achieving a balance between investment in projects to mitigate the effects of climate change and adaptation projects.