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  • Wednesday, 20 September 2023

H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Participated in the WEF’s Live Discussion on “Building Sustainable Trust in a Fragmenting World” During the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings in New York

● Dr. Rania Al-Mashat: Development and climate action have a close relationship, and the issue of just financing is the most prominent challenge facing developing countries.

● Al-Mashat emphasizes the recommendations of the G20 on the necessity of increasing financial flows through multilateral international financial institutions.

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat participated in a high-level discussion session titled "Building Sustainable Trust in a Fragmenting World” within the World Economic Forum (WEF)  Sustainable Development Impact Meetings in New York, held in conjunction with the 78th UN General Assembly.  

The session was chaired by the WEF’s President Børge Brende and also included the President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International ASA, Svein Tore Holsether and the Special Representative of the European Union for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and Western Balkans, European Commission, Miroslav Lajčák. 

The session discussed developments in geopolitical challenges at the global level and their negative impact on economic, social and environmental priorities and their obstruction of efforts to achieve sustainable development.

During the dialogue, Al-Mashat noted that the current week includes high-level activities and two important summits, namely the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, and also the Climate Ambition Summit, stressing the close relationship between them and the strong connection between development efforts and climate action. H.E. also noted that achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is only possible with a clear and purposeful climate agenda.

The Minister explained that when we talk about climate action, the issue of just financing emerges as a pivotal and important issue, especially for developing countries and emerging economies, stressing that these countries will not be able to achieve their climate ambitions without just financing at the qualitative and quantitative levels, which is sustainable and enhances South-South cooperation efforts, while supporting the ability to withstand climate change.

Al-Mashat identified 3 basic principles for just financing: ensuring access to quality and quantity finance to developing countries, the proper allocation of resources, and additionality of finance given the increasing cost of addressing climate change. 

The Minister stressed the recommendations of the G20 calling for developing the global system and the necessity of increasing financial flows through international multilateral financing institutions. At the same time, H.E. pointed out the importance of the responsibility placed on developing countries by creating the legislative environment and infrastructure to attract private sector investments, as well as preparing investable projects, and strengthening partnerships between the government and private sectors, as well as the need for just and innovative financing tools that enhance the private sector’s participation in projects. This was emphasized at the Glasgow conference, then the climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, and it will be addressed at the climate conference in the UAE.

Additionally, the Minister spoke about the launch of Egypt’s Country Platform for the NWFE program, a comprehensive platform for the private sector, development partners and philanthropic organizations to mobilize concessional development financing and climate investments, explaining that during the COP28, developments and efforts made over the course of the year will be presented. 

The Minister stated that Egypt has come a long way in transitioning to renewable energy and reducing dependence on traditional energy sources, noting that the country began in 2014 by taking a number of measures and structural reforms that stimulated private sector investments in the renewable energy sector, and resulted in many pivotal projects, most notably the Benban Solar Energy Complex, which also attracted blended financing that stimulated local and foreign private sector investments.

H.E. pointed out that in 2022, Egypt issued the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050 and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and then updated the contributions in 2023 to achieve its goal of reaching the percentage of renewable energy to 42% in 2030 instead of 2035, which confirms and reflects the government’s commitment in this regard. Al-Mashat stressed that the ambitious projects included in the “NWFE” program reinforce this commitment.

For his part, the President of the WEF applauded the development that has taken place in Egypt at the level of expansion of renewable energy projects, explaining that Egypt has many stories that can be focused on in the field of transition to renewable energy.

To rewatch the session: