Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt, has underscored the importance of the contribution of universities, research centers and other high educational institutions in discussing and addressing climate change challenges on correct scientific basis.
His remarks came during his participation on Thursday in a webinar held by the American University in Cairo (AUC) to discuss and launch its climate change initiative.
Mohieldin said that the continuous scientific research and studies on different aspects of climate change lead to a knowledge accumulation that helps in making progress on the front of climate crisis, and this amplifies the importance of the role of universities and research centers through teaching, making partnerships and providing services for climate actors, and sharing knowledge on local, national and regional levels.
At this point, Mohieldin encouraged the Egyptian universities to collaborate and compete in launching climate initiatives that enhance Egypt’s role in fighting climate change, and to share its experience within its regional Arab, African and Mediterranean surroundings.
Regarding what COP27 can achieve in the shade of a complicated political and economic global scene, Mohieldin said that the previous COPs made a great knowledge accumulation, discussed and adopted frameworks either set by UN such as 2030 SD agenda or those set by different governments, and they came out with recommendations and pledges to change the climate situation, and this makes a good chance for Sharm El Sheikh conference to be the starting line of the actual implementation of climate action.
He expressed his belief that COP27 can make the change and achieve its goals in the light of the holistic approach adopted by Egypt for climate action either on term of regional aspect, or through discussing the four pillars of the climate crisis (mitigation, adaptation, finance, losses and damages) under the wider umbrella of SDGs.
Mohieldin stressed that the existence of frameworks and climate projects proposals makes the actual implementation of these projects the main factor of COP27 success, saying that holding 5 main regional meetings in July and August aims to mobilize efforts and necessary finance for climate action before Sharm El Sheikh conference in November.
He explained that implementing climate projects requires financing, resources and technologies that help achieving climate goals, adding that COP27 will discuss fulfilling previous finance commitments topped by the annual $100 billion pledged by Copenhagen conference, and $130 trillion pledged by GFANZ coalition, beside discussing mechanisms of switching from debts to investments, the establishment of a carbon market that suits the emerging markets, and involving the private sector in financing and implementing climate projects according to certain criteria to avoid mismanagement of climate action and overcome green washing.
“Climate action should help in solving problems that people are suffering from. Habitants of different villages, cities and regions all around the world should touch the results of this action on the ground.” Mohieldin said, adding that Egypt presidency of COP27 prioritizes the climate projects localization in the light of implementing initiatives such as “Decent Life” that aims to raise the level of services offered to millions of Egyptian villagers.
When asked about Europe’s tendency in recent years to operate coal plants and rely on fuel as energy sources, Mohieldin said that this approach was adopted by some countries under the pressure of political and economic crises, and it led to obstructing efforts to reduce green house gases.
He added that enhancing investments in green energy sources such as solar energy, green hydrogen and other renewables is the only way to fight global warming on the medium and long terms, concluding that green and smart economic transition and sustainability are the two wings of climate action to deal with the impacts of global warming.
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