Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin: COP27 will be a global conference with an African focus

By Climate Champions | June 17, 2022

Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt, said that the upcoming UN Climate Change summit in Sharm el Sheikh (COP27) will be a global conference with an African focus, where key African climate initiatives will be announced.

Mohieldin’s remarks came during his participation on Tuesday in the Africa CEO Forum held in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire.

Mohieldin said Africa was determined to show its leadership in climate action and explained how action at scale was already being mobilized and facilitated, alongside the continent’s vision for a just and sustainable future for all.

He added that COP27 was an opportunity to highlight the special needs and circumstances of the African continent. He said Africa must balance the need to combat climate change with the urgency to economically prosper in order to alleviate food insecurity and poverty, as well as achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The High-Level Champion said that Africa needs a just and pragmatic transition that balances its historically low emissions and development aspirations, while also ensuring that the continent engages in a realistic reduction of emissions.

The priorities, according to Mohieldin, include helping the global challenge of climate change be seen from an African perspective. The vision, he said, was for just and ambitious outcomes, which put adaptation and resilience on an equal footing with mitigation.

Mohieldin said that Africa’s big offer to the planet was to the global carbon markets because it has an abundance of natural capital (forests, land, oceans) which can attract investment, and therefore the opportunity to leapfrog over old industrialized technologies.

He explained that the incoming Egyptian presidency of COP27, together with UN Regional Economic Commissions, were pleased to launch a series of five regional forums on Climate Projects, including the Africa Regional Forum planned to be held during Africa Climate Week on August 29 in Gabon. Mohieldin encouraged private sector and financial institutions in Africa to actively take part in the forum, with the aim of helping to accelerate public and private investment.

On COP27, Mohieldin said that Egypt hopes the conference will be an important milestone in this decisive decade for climate action. He said it should undertake an urgent, ambitious, impactful, and transformative agenda, guided by a holistic approach to sustainable development, based upon the principle of equity and informed by science.

“In light of the goals and objectives of the Convention and Paris Agreement and building on the outcomes of previous UNFCCC COPs, we will promote a stronger focus on implementation, transforming commitments into actions and translating the pledges of the summits into solutions in the field,” Mohieldin added.

“While acknowledging the complexities of the different political, economic and developmental challenges, it is incumbent on us all to raise the threshold of action at COP27,” he concluded.

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