CAIRO - 17 January 2023: Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat began her agenda at the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings 2023 in Davos by participating in the launch of the “Giving to Amplify Earth Action” (GAEA); call to action initiative to philanthropy at the speed required to achieve an equitable climate- and nature-positive future in a World Economic Forum Session titled “Philanthropy: A Catalyst for Protecting Our Planet”.
Alongside Al-Mashat, this session included WEF President Børge Brende; Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, National Security Council (NSC) John Kerry; Managing Director for the Centre for Nature and Climate at the WEF Gim Huay Neo; United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney; CEO for Temasek Trust Desmond Kuek; CEO for Crescent Enterprises Badr Jafar; and Vice Chairwoman of Carbon Direct Nili Gilbert. .
The session discussed the role of philanthropic organizations in stimulating climate action. It also addressed how the government and private sectors can leverage the resources and tools available to philanthropic organizations to bridge an estimated $100 trillion gap in order to deploy equitable solutions to preserve climate and nature by 2050, as the initiative and its goals were announced.
In her remarks, Al-Mashat stressed that climate change is a global challenge and that efforts must be unified, along with commitment to climate action and strengthened joint work among relevant stakeholders to utilize all available resources in line with the green transition. It is important to note the role of philanthropic organizations and the resources available to them in stimulating climate action through a partnership with both the private sector and the public sector to mobilize the required investments and help in the flow of capital.
Al-Mashat stated that in 2021, about 2% of the resources of philanthropic organizations were directed to climate action (between $7.5-12.5 billion), to assist in efforts to mitigate the repercussions of climate change, while these organizations made available resources estimated at about $810 billion. The Minister stressed that philanthropic organizations can play a catalytic role for climate action through their available resources to finance high-risk projects, as well as technical expertise, and their openness to broad networks of actors, which stimulates the private sector to play a greater role in climate financing.
Moreover, H.E. also referred to the "Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing", which was published at COP27 as one of the initiatives of Egypt’s presidency. The guidebook presents clear principles and recommendations for each of the relevant stakeholders playing a role in stimulating climate action, highlighting the role of philanthropic organizations and noting the coordination between multilateral development banks and other providers of capital such as the private sector and charitable institutions in order to stimulate the provision of financial resources on a large scale.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of the private sector and philanthropic organizations providing additional sources of financing along with technical expertise, and cooperation with the government sector, thus enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change and the transition from pledges to implementation through the mobilization of financial resources. H.E. also noted the need for these resources to be directed more towards efforts to adapt to climate change, which do not receive sufficient funding.
In light of Egypt's COP27 presidency, philanthropic organizations have taken over a large part of the discussions and events among the international community to discuss their role in driving climate action, with the ongoing global dialogue being the structure of international finance institutions, including mentioned organizations as key players in mobilizing the resources and investments needed to drive development efforts and climate action.
Al-Mashat pointed out that the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy "NWFE" program, launched by Egypt in mid-2022 and the letters of intent and agreements related to it were signed during COP27, is working to mobilize various financing mechanisms through development partners, the private sector and also philanthropic organizations. This aims to stimulate the ambition of climate action in Egypt, pointing that this year, and in light of Egypt's Presidency of the COP27, will witness many developments regarding the implementation of the "Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing", as well as strengthening the role of stakeholders to finance NWFE Projects.
The session witnessed praise for Egypt's hosting and chairmanship of COP27, and the importance of the conference as a step towards the transition from financial commitments to implementation. John Kerry, US Presidential Climate Envoy, also applauded the launch of the NWFE program as a model for developing countries and emerging economies to raise climate finance on the basis of platforms, such as the JETP.
In a related context, United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney referred to the joint work with the Ministry of International Cooperation to launch the Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing.