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  • Tuesday, 20 September 2022

During the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) in New York: H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat: Philanthropic Organizations Can Play a Vital Role in Closing the Climate Finance Gap

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat took part in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) discussion on “Accelerating Climate Action through Philanthropic-Private-Public Collaboration”, as part of the 77th United Nations General Assembly  (UNGA) held in New York. The discussions covered the role of philanthropic organizations in driving climate action and the importance of establishing public-private partnerships. 

This session included the participation of the WEF’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab; the WEF’s Managing Director for the  Centre for Nature and Climate, Neo Gim Huay; the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans; and the Founder of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio. 

In her remarks, Al-Mashat emphasized the need to increase climate finance, as it is necessary to build on the efforts of relevant stakeholders, including philanthropic institutions with substantial resources that could be used to increase financing for climate action and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in developing countries.

Al-Mashat pointed to the importance of multilateral cooperation, which provides a more comprehensive vision involving all stakeholders in order to advance sustainable development efforts by 2030 and enhance climate action. The Minister noted that, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there is a  financing gap of about $2.5 trillion dollars per year, and thus, it is essential that sufficient resources are mobilized to bridge this gap and move forward in promoting the transition to a green economy.

Nonprofit and philanthropic organizations could play a major role in supporting the sustainable development agenda. “Their role had emerged significantly recently, despite the great role of government and private capital,” said Al-Mashat.  The Minister added on to explain that $651 billion from philanthropic institutions can help achieve the SDGs by 2030, given their vast expertise and resources, and especially as only 2% of their funds have been directed to climate action since 2020.

Especially through blended finance, the Minister shared that the role of non-profit organizations in climate action could be expanded, particularly in financing the SDGs, and in creating strategic partnerships with governmental organizations and the private sector to increase development-oriented financing, as they have the ability to ensure de-risking reduction tools and stimulating private sector engagement. 

For his part, Schwab said that the WEF is working to mobilize major international philanthropic institutions to support climate action, and achieve the SDGs, while exploring the role of these institutions as key supporters of the climate action agenda.

Timmermans also shared that if all stakeholders support climate action, including philanthropic institutions, this works hand in hand with achieving global sustainability and in confronting the repercussions of climate change.  

Recently, the Ministry of International Cooperation, in cooperation with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Environment, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, organized the second edition of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF), and the meeting of African Ministers of Economy, Finance and Environment, under the auspices and presence of H.E. President Abdel Fattah Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt. 

The forum witnessed the participation of more than 23 African governments, and around 20 discussion sessions, workshops and roundtables were held to galvanize the international community to support Africa’s climate change agenda, and to consolidate messages ahead of "Finance Day" during COP27.