Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt and UN Special Envoy on Financing 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, said that enjoying clean and healthy environment is integral to human rights, as it helps maintaining the right to life, health, water, food, housing and an decent standard of living.
During his visit to Geneva to attend Building Bridges Conference, Mohieldin participated in a meeting at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, where he stated that governments and other actors can address climate change in a way that is consistent with their human rights obligations including the right to development, explaining that climate change would harm human rights to have access to clean water, food, housing and other basic human needs.
Both sides demonstrated that confronting climate change requires overcoming some gaps, the adaptation gap between capacities, finance and technology required to achieve adaptation to climate change and what is available.
He stressed the importance of dealing with loss and damage caused by climate change to protect human rights in the most vulnerable communities, saying that COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh achieved a great breakthrough by launching the Loss and Damage Fund, which the Transitional Committee is working to develop its operational structure in preparation for its activation.
Mohieldin and Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, Director of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expected that achieving agreement on the fund’s activation framework will be one of the most important outcomes of COP28 in Dubai this year.
During his participation in the ILO meeting, Mohieldin stressed that the success of just transition depends on ensuring the achievement of the social and economic development goals of societies, explaining that climate action must be coordinated and integrated with sustainable economic and social development within the framework of a holistic approach that strengths the link between confronting climate change and achieving other SDGs.
The climate champion said that implementing just transition requires developing skills, achieving economic diversification, strengthening social support and governance, activating the financing mechanisms needed to make low-carbon economies a reality, along with including the guiding principles of the transition process within the NDCs.
Both sides noted that protecting societies from the impacts of the transition must be done by protecting the most affected individuals by providing alternative jobs to the affected workers, supporting emission-intensive sectors in the transition phase, and providing financial and technical support to countries and regions that are highly dependent on producing or consuming fossil fuels.
During a meeting with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, Mohieldin and Ngozi confirmed the important role of trade in the transition to global low-carbon economy and more sustainable societies, saying that tariffs, for example, are important tools used by governments to signal the right prices for markets.
Mohieldin stated, in meetings with Ngozi, Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and Borge Brende, President of World Economic Forum, that the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) approved by the EU is one of the mechanisms that imposes restrictions on developing countries and limits the competitiveness of their products, adding that the mechanism also negatively affects the hard-to-abate sectors in the exporting countries to the EU and reduces the volume of trade between the two sides, which will be reflected in the decline of the GDP of these countries.
The meetings coordinated by Egypt Permanent Mission in Geneva, and attended by Ambassador Dr. Ihab Gamal El-Din, Egypt’s Permanent Delegate to UN, WTO and other international organizations in Geneva, and Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, Director of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs.