Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin: Africa proved its main role in addressing climate crisis through providing applicable scientific solutions
Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt, has said that Africa recently proved that it can play big role in addressing climate crisis by providing applicable scientific solutions.
His remarks came during his participation in a session entitled “Road to COP27 and Beyond”, within the activities of “Voice of Africa” conference organized by the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES) and CIB, in attendance and participation of Dr Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment.
He added that Africa is working on deploying adaptation technologies across the continent, such as solar agriculture, beside pursuing the win-win opportunity of rapidly deploying the global carbon market especially with programmes that straddle both climate mitigation and adaptation which leads to resilience.
Mohieldin called, in this context, to the equal financing of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, with the participation of the private sector in this process.
At this point, Mohieldin stressed the importance of the accurate identification of the role of the private sector in transition to green economy and financing climate projects, and setting specific criteria for private sector climate activities to avoid what is called “Green Washing”, he refered in the same time to the governments role in setting legislative frames and plans of action that allow a wider participation of the private sector and other NSAs in financing and implementing climate projects.
The climate champion stressed on the necessity of incorporating climate considerations in designing and constructing Africa’s infrastructure.
Mohieldin explained that the role of climate champions to help Africa in fulfilling its climate commitments depends on the three main pillars of Paris agreement, which are mitigation and reducing GHGs at a minimum halving emissions by 2030 through the UN Race to Zero campaign, adaptation to climate impacts and building resilience in people and nature to climate impacts through the Race to Resilience campaign, and mobilisation of finance for climate projects, beside negotiating damages and losses related to climate crisis and investing in its solutions.
Mohieldin talked about the energy sector in Africa saying that 22 African countries already use renewables as a main source of power, he pointed out that $10.5 billion investment committed to renewable energy this year in Africa, with major focus on DRC, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa this year and plans for 2023 in Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Malawi. He mentioned also Egypt leadership role in the Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance with 5 other countries (Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, South Africa) to collaborate pre-competitively on Green Hydrogen deployment.
Mohieldin praised the existence of the biggest four solar energy projects in the world on the African soil, including Benban solar energy plant in Aswan, Egypt, stressing that Africa has the ability to become a main source of producing and exporting green energy worldwide.
About infrastructure, Mohieldin said that Africa is in urgent need to meet rapid delivery of resilient, quality housing and buildings, adding that reducing emissions through green buildings comes with a $24.7 trillion investment opportunity over the next decade across emerging markets.
He explained that HLC are supporting the creation of a blended finance long term investment fund to support the investment in Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) in Africa, saying that meeting Paris agreement targets requires tha all vehicles added to the global fleet must be zero emissions by 2035.
“HLC Africa team convening a sustainable agriculture advisory group in Africa to advise African SMEs on the policy, investment and knowledge levers which would help them pivot to more sustainable, food secure and nutritious agriculture.” Mohieldin said.
The climate champion emphasized that climate action requires a hand-in-hand work from all countries with no exceptions, saying that the climate inaction of one or two of the influential countries could lead to the obstruction of the whole international community efforts, and cutting roads towards the actual implementation of climate solutions.
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