As U.N. experts published a list of $120 billion in projects that investors may support to assist weaker countries reduce emissions and cope with the effects of global warming, finance grabbed centre stage at the COP27 climate negotiations on Wednesday.
Numerous projects, including 19 in Africa, were named, including a $3 billion water supply project between Lesotho – Botswana and a $10 million proposal to upgrade the public water infrastructure in Mauritius.
In a statement that accompanied the analyst Mahmoud Mohieldin, one of the U.N. selected experts designated as U.N. Climate Change High-Level Champions, said that it is evident that a sizable pipeline of investible prospects does exist across the economies that require funding the most.
The experts that assist the COP host countries in their interactions with industry put together a list of initiatives that may be funded more swiftly to counter the claim made by private industry financiers that investing more in emerging nations is too hazardous.
They provided the initial listing so that involved banks and other participants could evaluate the projects after a year of talks with stakeholders from all over the world.
Mohieldin, the High-Level Champion for COP27, claimed there is a creative partnership between developers and sources of public, private, and concessionary funding to harness this investment potential and convert assets into flows.
However, according to a different analysis made public on Tuesday, to achieve the global aim of halting runaway climate change, developing countries would need to receive $1 trillion in external funding every year by 2030 and then equal that amount with their own funds.
The U.N. climate discussions have traditionally been focused on providing funding to low-and medium-income nations so they can create infrastructure, such as the renewable energy plants required to replace fossil fuels. But development has been gradual.
Even if there is a pipeline of intriguing projects, they will need technical and financial assistance to get to the point where they can draw the right kind of funding, according to Nigel Topping, the COP26 High-Level Champion.
To do that, he argued, all system actors must roll up their sleeves. If everyone keeps shifting blame, the project will never unleash the volume of funding that developing economies require.
A recent statement from the lenders claimed the top development banks in the world loaned $51 billion to less developed nations in 2021, with $13 billion coming from private investors.
On Wednesday, World Bank President David Malpass briefed the audience, outlining the bank’s climate initiatives and participation in cooperation whereby Western countries would give South Africa $8.5 billion for its energy transition.
Malpass’ plane from South Africa was damaged by lightning, delaying his arrival at COP27, which was initially slated for Sunday.
Malpass once more denied the claim that he is a climate change unbeliever when he was questioned during the event on Wednesday about previous remarks perceived as downplaying climate change.
As he was exiting the event, Malpass responded angrily to a question from a reporter.
After responding to a query about whether he thought man-made emission levels from the combustion of fossil fuels were causing global warming in September at a New York Times event, Malpass has been the target of months of criticism from advocacy groups and figures, including the former head of U.N. climate agency Christiana Figueres. He had responded at the time that he wasn’t a scientist.
Later in September, after the remarks generated widespread attention, he clarified them and asserted that it was obvious that emissions of greenhouse gases were the primary cause of climate change.