30 March 2022

Beirut time

Regional Consultation

Climate mainstreaming for green economic recovery

  • Atlantis, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

In tandem with the MENA Climate Week 2022, ESCWA, in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is organizing a session on climate mainstreaming for green economic recovery in the Arab region. Discussions during this session cover various avenues for mainstreaming climate change in development planning and strategic sectors through a holistic approach that aims at promoting a green economic recovery.

The event includes exchange on assessment tools, integrated planning instruments, financing options and interventions for ensuring natural resource sustainability under a changing climate. It promotes a science-based approach that examines climate change impacts on the water and agricultural sectors and the implications for socio-economic vulnerability in the region.

The event gathers senior officials from ministries of water, agriculture, energy, transport, industry, environment and planning in Arab countries, and specialized regional organizations and development experts.

Outcome document

  • Climate change is a risk to development and the achievements of the SDGs. Recognizing the mutually supportive nature of climate and development goals can help unlock synergies.
  • Climate change is a cross-cutting issue, which calls for broad cooperation between all ministries and sectors and the engagement of all stakeholders from the public and private sector, including beneficiaries, at the subnational, national and regional level (whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach) to raise awareness and share knowledge on climate related challenges. This will help understand and address these challenges and enhance climate ambition and integration.  
  • An integrated approach that takes potential trade-offs between short-term policy priorities and long-term strategies into account is necessary for further incorporation of adaptation and mitigation measures in national and sectoral development planning at different scales.
  • A thorough, science-based assessment of the climate change-related challenges faced by each sector should be the basis for developing policies and plans tailored to the country-specific needs and circumstances. This calls for good data and transparency to understand existing gaps in climate action, develop policies to improve outcomes, and to crowd in additional funding.
  • Advancing climate mainstreaming is about action. Climate strategies need to be translated into legislation to be actionable.
  • Successful climate mainstreaming requires strong country ownership.
  • Community activities can play an important role in raising climate awareness, scaling up climate action, and promoting learning and knowledge sharing.
  • Capacity building and knowledge sharing need to be enhanced at all levels to foster climate mainstreaming.
  • There is a need for balanced climate finance to support more stringent climate action.
  • Well-designed monitoring and evaluation tools are needed to identify gaps and measure progress towards effective climate mainstreaming.

In their Opening Statements, Mr Amer Bukvic (IsDB) and Ms. Carol Chouchani Cherfane (UN-ESCWA) introduced the concept of climate mainstreaming. The IsDB climate change strategy as well as experiences and initiatives for improving performance and sharing learning for enhanced climate action were presented. UN-ESCWA highlighted that mainstreaming climate action is a multistage process. As such, science-based assessment tools, integrated planning instruments, financing options as well as monitoring mechanisms are needed for ambitious climate action.

In the panel discussion, speakers shared national examples of climate change-related challenges faced by the different sectors and highlighted the need for investments in adaptation actions. Panelists also underscored the cross-cutting nature of climate change, relating in particular to the water, energy, transport and health sector, and showcased country experiences of successful climate mainstreaming in these strategic sectors. They called for enhanced cross-sectoral as well as regional cooperation to share knowledge and experiences and coordinate climate action. Speakers also highlighted the need for well-designed monitoring and evaluation tools to build trust and crowd in additional climate finance.

During the open discussion, participants highlighted the need to bring environmental and social goals closer together by fostering the understanding that ambitious climate action will secure the wellbeing of the people. Participants underscored the need for increased regional cooperation. Participants also raised concerns about increasing budget pressures at the national level due to rising inflation, pointing to the need of crowding in international climate finance. Further efforts in capacity building to access climate finance were also called for. Participants also discussed the role of universities and academia as centers for innovation to develop innovative solutions for scaling up climate action.

Event details

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