The Towards COP27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action is one of many regional events taking place pre-COP 27. It was held under the auspices of the upcoming Egyptian Presidency of COP27, the United Nations Regional Commissions, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions for COP26 and COP27, and His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt. CIB, Egypt’s largest private sector bank, participated in the “Energy Access, Security, Stability, Just Energy Transition and Transport” roundtable where Dr. Dalia Abdel Kader, CIB’s Chief Sustainability Officer, contributed to the session.

“The pioneering African Regional Forum titled ‘Towards COP27: African Regional Forum on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs’ recognizes the importance of narrowing the current gap in Paris-aligned financial flows to address climate change in a holistic manner,” says H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin. “The forum is also the first in a series of five regional forums in the run-up to COP27, led by the incoming Egyptian Presidency of COP27, the UN Five Regional Commissions, and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions. The forum is bringing together 400 African government representatives, the private sector, financial institutions, consultative bureaus, and civil society organizations. The forum discussed the general policy frameworks for the investments needed in six vital areas: 1. Just energy transition, 2. Food security, 3. Carbon credit market, 4. Digital transformations, 5. Blue economy and 6. Water and Cities. Nineteen concrete projects (68% with a regional scope/impact) were selected by a working group consisting of representatives from the Boston Consulting Group, the African Climate Pioneers Group, and the Glasgow Net-Zero Alliance (GFANZ) and reviewed in the presence of key stakeholders from public and private sectors, to catalyze additional private sector investment in climate mitigation and adaptation in line with the SDGs,” continued H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin.

The session outlined the business case for diversifying renewable energy projects that cater to the needs of the region, including Nigeria, Mali and Egypt. The discussion also highlighted the crucial role sustainable transport plays in promoting energy efficiency in the mobility sector, such as Egypt’s electric train project, as well as the role banks play in aiding the implementation of sustainability-driven projects.

The three-day conference is the first of a series of forums within the conference, aiming to align regional and global financial institutions and industry leaders prior to COP 27, which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh this November. The conference is working towards re-shaping the role of financial institutions as global actors in the climate sphere to accelerate mitigation and adaptation projects for the survival of the region.“Ahead of COP27, CIB has been invited to share its Green Bond experience and its sustainable finance programs and discuss how African private sector banks could take the helm of mobilizing climate finance to address adaptation, mitigation, and resilience concerns,” said Dr. Dalia Abdel Kader. “The regional conference directed a streamlined and sharp focus on implementation, encouraging interaction between investors and investees. The conference was eye-opening in the sense that it demonstrated how African countries complement one another and how having a Continent Climate Governance Platform can accelerate the transition toward sustainability and empower Africa to take control of its future,” she added.

In line with Egypt’s newly-issued National Climate Change Strategy 2050, which emphasizes key plans to transition towards renewable and sustainable energy sources, CIB is leveraging its longstanding expertise in sustainability and its membership in the Capital Mobilization workstream under the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ) to advance the country’s climate goals while creating value for its shareholders on a regional level.

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