Show us the money: Developing world at COP27 seeks funding details

  • Finance day at COP27 highlights banks, investors and insurers
  • Emerging markets ask for more help to pay for the transition
  • UN experts point to dozens of climate projects worth $120 billion

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Finance took center stage at the COP27 climate talks on Wednesday, with UN experts releasing a list of projects worth $120 billion that investors could support to help poorer countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. effects of global warming.

A $3 billion water transfer project between Lesotho and Botswana and a $10 million plan to improve the public water system in Mauritius were among dozens of projects listed, including 19 in Africa.

“We can now show that a significant pipeline of investment opportunities exists in the economies most in need of financing,” said Mahmoud Mohieldin, one of the UN-appointed experts, known as United Nations High Level Champions on Climate Change, in a statement accompanying the report.

To counter the argument of private sector financiers that it’s too risky to invest more in emerging markets, the experts, who are helping COP host governments engage with businesses, have drawn up a list of projects that could be funded more quickly.

After a year of meetings with stakeholders around the world, they released the initial list so banks and others could assess the projects.

“We now need creative collaboration between project developers and public, private and concessional finance, to unlock this investment potential and turn assets into flows,” said COP27 High Level Champion Mohieldin. .

However, another report released on Tuesday suggests that developing countries should secure $1 trillion in external financing every year by 2030, and then match that amount with their own funds, to meet the global goal of preventing runaway climate change.

By contrast, the world’s major development banks lent $51 billion to the poorest countries in 2021, with private investors providing just $13 billion, according to a recent lenders report.

Among a series of separate agreements announced on Wednesday, Egypt said it had signed partnerships for its Nexus of Water-Food-Energy (NWFE) program to support the implementation of climate projects with investments worth $15 billion.

France and Germany have also signed loan agreements to provide 300 million euros ($300.69 million) in concessional financing to South Africa to support its transition from coal power.

Italy, Britain and Sweden were among donors pledging more than $350 million to fund nature-based solutions to the climate crisis in countries including Egypt, Fiji, Kenya and Malawi.

A group of more than 85 African insurers has also pledged to provide $14 billion in coverage to help the continent’s most vulnerable communities cope with the risks of climate-related disasters such as floods and droughts. Read more

US climate envoy John Kerry has announced the creation of a carbon offset plan, dubbed the Energy Transition Accelerator, which aims to help developing countries raise funds to finance their transition away from fossil fuels. Read more

MALPASS CHALLENGE

Securing money for low- and middle-income countries to build infrastructure such as renewable energy plants has long been at the center of United Nations climate discussions. But progress has been slow.

“Even if the pipeline of interesting projects is there, they will need technical and financial assistance to get to a position where they can attract the right kind of funding,” said Nigel Topping, High Level Champion for COP26.

“We need everyone in the system to roll up their sleeves to make this happen,” he said.

World Bank President David Malpass addressed delegates on Wednesday, reviewing the bank’s climate efforts and its involvement in a partnership under which Western countries would provide $8.5 billion to Africa. of the South for its energy transition.

Malpass’s arrival at COP27, originally scheduled for Sunday, was delayed when his flight from South Africa was struck by lightning, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Asked at Wednesday’s event about his past comments seen as downplaying climate change, Malpass again rejected the allegation that he is a climate change denier.

“You know I’m not. You know I’m not, so don’t misrepresent it,” Malpass said in response to a reporter’s question as he left the event.

Malpass has faced months of criticism from campaign groups and public figures, including former UN climate agency chief Christiana Figueres, after answering a question in September at an event of the New York Times to find out if he believed that man-made emissions from burning fossil fuels were fueling global warming. At the time, he replied, “I don’t even know. I’m not a scientist.”

When the comments made international headlines, he clarified his remarks later in September and said it was clear greenhouse gas emissions were causing climate change.

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Reporting by Simon Jessop and Kate Abnett; Editing by Katy Daigle, Frank Jack Daniel and David Gregorio

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