SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: Finance took centre stage at the COP27 climate talks on Wednesday (Nov 9), with UN experts publishing a list of projects worth US$120 billion that investors could back to help poorer countries cut emissions and adapt to the impacts of global warming.
A US$3 billion water transfer project between Lesotho and Botswana and a US$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 meaningful pipeline of investible opportunities does exist across the economies that need finance most,” Mahmoud Mohieldin, one of the UN appointed experts, known as UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, said in a statement to accompany the report.
In an effort to answer the argument by private sector financiers that it’s too risky to invest more in emerging markets, the experts, who help the COP host-governments engage with business, pulled together 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 that banks and others can assess the projects.
“We now need a creative collaboration between project developers and public, private and concessionary finance, to unlock this investment potential and turn assets into flows,” said Mohieldin, High-Level Champion for COP27.
However, another report released on Tuesday suggested that developing countries would need to secure US$1 trillion in external financing every year by 2030, and then match that with their own funds, in order to meet the world’s goal of preventing runaway climate change.
By contrast, the world’s leading development banks lent US$51 billion to poorer countries in 2021, with private investors contributing just US$13 billion, a recent report from the lenders said.
Among a clutch of separate deals announced on Wednesday, Egypt said it had signed partnerships for its Nexus of Water-Food-Energy (NWFE) programme to support the implementation of climate projects with investments worth US$15 billion.
France and Germany also signed loan agreements to extend €300 million (US$300.69 million) in concessional financing to South Africa to support its shift away from coal-fired power.
Italy, Britain and Sweden were among donors to pledge more than US$350 million to finance nature-based solutions to the climate crisis in countries including Egypt, Fiji, Kenya and Malawi.