Accelerating the Flywheel on the Path to a Net Zero Future

## **Foreign Fireside Chat: Accelerating Climate Action and Financing Solutions | COP28**
*Welcome to our fireside chat on driving the flywheel faster towards a net-zero future. In this conversation, Vijay Vitis Warren, the Energy and Global Climate Innovation Editor at The Economist, sits down with Mahmud Waheli, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion from Egypt. As we approach COP28, we discuss the challenges and opportunities in maintaining momentum for climate action.*


Mahmud emphasizes the importance of context and highlights that climate action is just one part of the broader sustainable development goals (SDGs). Led by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, efforts are underway to address these goals through initiatives like accelerators, calls for action, and summits focusing on climate action. The upcoming COP28 in Dubai is a significant event in this regard.

However, Mahmud acknowledges the numerous crises overwhelming the global system, both old and new. In this context, accelerating climate action becomes paramount. Key areas highlighted include reducing emissions by 2030, doubling efforts in adaptation, launching the loss and damage fund, and addressing the financing needs for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage.

The conversation then shifts to the impact of unrelated events, such as the war in Ukraine, on the climate agenda. Mahmud shares that during the preparations for the Sharm Sheikh agenda, geopolitical tensions did impede the momentum and coherence required to address crucial climate issues. Therefore, Mahmud emphasizes the need for a holistic approach that integrates climate solutions into the broader energy agenda to ensure investments in renewables and alternative energy sources support access to energy.

Vijay raises the concern of rising prices and inflation, which result in higher interest rates, affecting the financing of capital-intensive climate projects. Mahmud acknowledges the challenge, particularly for projects with social gains but limited commercial returns. He discusses the need to develop bankable projects and highlights the collaborative efforts between climate champions, consultancy firms, and regional economic commissions to prepare a pipeline of approximately 120 bankable projects across 100 countries. To make these projects feasible, Mahmud suggests exploring grants and credit enhancements.

Furthermore, Mahmud emphasizes the importance of leveraging public finance, both domestically and externally, as well as incentivizing private sector engagement. He highlights the role of financial innovation in facilitating climate financing, pointing to instruments like hybrid financing tools and mechanisms for protecting investors from currency exchange risks.

To delve deeper into these financing solutions and additional examples, watch the full fireside chat on our [YouTube channel](

**Keywords/Tags**: [vid_tags]

1. [The Economist](
2. [UN Climate Change](
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