Beirut, September 15, 2022 – The Arab region is highly vulnerable to climate change. The temperature has increased by an average of 0.8°C over the past 20 years and is expected to increase by 4.8°C by the end of the century. Droughts, heat waves, wildfires, sand and dust storms, sea level rise and flash floods impact health, homes, livelihoods and nature in urban, rural and coastal communities. Today, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) reiterated its calls to accelerate climate action by pushing for better climate finance in the region at the Arab Regional Forum on Climate Finance , organized ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Parties (COP27).
“Our vision is that COP27 should reflect our commitment to move from commitment to action as an implementing COP, where commitments become immediate and effective,” said COP27 President-designate and Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry. “This allows for a rapid move to comprehensive, timely, inclusive and large-scale action on the ground by translating agreements and pledges into concrete initiatives, scaling up and replicating successes to address the threats of climate change,” said he added.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed said in a video message that countries must deliver on their commitments and that developed countries must demonstrate how they will deliver on their pledge to deliver $100 billion a year and double the funding for adaptation at $40 million, as agreed at COP26 in Glasgow. “Innovative financial instruments can help, including initiatives such as the Climate Nexus/SDG Debt Swap-Donor Nexus proposed by ESCWA,” she added.
The Forum was a means to facilitate the engagement of a wide range of partners and stakeholders to accelerate the mobilization of public and private investments and combined funding opportunities around concrete projects and initiatives. It has also connected institutional investors, private sector financiers and development partners with governments to broker dialogue around the co-creation of investment opportunities to support priority actions in the region.
For his part, Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN High Level Climate Champion and UN Special Envoy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said joint regional work can overcome the obstacles that hinder the financing and implementation of climate projects in the context of current global challenges. “Climate finance is insufficient and takes too long to negotiate; it is unfair because the most vulnerable countries are being asked to pay for a crisis they are not contributing to, and they get the smallest share of funding to meet their climate goals,” he added.
Participants called on public and private stakeholders, as well as leaders of the international development community who are committed to providing climate finance in the region, to identify entry points for climate finance to accelerate development. access to clean energy and energy-efficient technologies, and to identify ways to ensure water and food security.
In her address, ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti said that over the past decade, Arab states have received around $34 billion in international public climate finance, less than 7% of that. that would be needed to implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of 11 Arab countries. . “Increased commitment to climate finance is needed, with greater emphasis on adaptation, particularly in the water and agriculture sectors,” she added.
In fact, water and food security remain key enablers for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as mitigation and adaptation goals in the Arab region.
The Arab Regional Climate Finance Forum is one of five regional forums organized by the Egyptian COP27 Presidency, the UN High Level Champions on Climate Change and the five UN Regional Commissions.
ESCWA, one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations, supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in the Arab States and works to strengthen regional integration.