The Africa Climate Summit (ACS) hosted by Kenya last week succeeded in highlighting climate action as a solution to food, energy and debt crises, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda Mahmoud Mohieldin said in an interview with CGTN.Mohieldin stressed that climate action is developmental and that the financing of climate projects is financing for various SDGs.
“ACS contributed to creating a unified African voice that expresses the priorities of development and climate action in Africa in different international forums, foremost of which are the UN meetings in New York and COP28 in Dubai,” he said.
He explained that Kenya’s hosting of ACS and Africa Climate Week (ACW) with the high-level participation of leaders, heads of governments, the private sector and civil society in Africa has given impetus to climate and development action at a time when the world is seeing a state of ongoing crises.
“Nairobi Declaration highlighted Africa’s priorities for climate and development action, the importance of partnerships for providing finance, applying technological solutions and building capacities at African countries in order to achieve these priorities,” Mohieldin said.
He added that the Declaration also linked global efforts to regional action by taking the impacts on local communities into account.
Mohieldin explained that the interest of ACS and ACW in discussing the $100bn pledged by developed countries to finance climate action in developing countries annually has not yet been fulfilled.
He said that fulfilling this pledge would enhance confidence among countries and pave the way for the implementation of more pledges. However, he added that this financing, even if fulfilled, is no longer enough to fill the climate finance gap in developing countries.
Mohieldin stressed that financing climate and development action in Africa should not add to the debt burdens suffered by many countries on the continent.
He said that finance mobilization must be done mainly through scaling private sector participation and activating concessional finance policies that include low-interest rates and long-term repayment and grace periods.
He confirmed that just energy transition in Africa requires partnerships that contribute effectively to phasing out of fossil fuel and enhancing investment in clean energy resources that the continent is full of.
He said that it is important to take into account the economic and social dimensions and impacts of the transition process on communities.