UNIDO’s special event at COP27 highlights importance of innovative energy solutions, with focus on green hydrogen
09 November 2022
SHARM EL-SHEIKH – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), together with the COP27 Presidency, hosted a special evening event to highlight the potential of green hydrogen, and to convey UNIDO's central message: progress by innovation.
The evening began with an overview of the long history of energy development and its impact on the African continent. A selection of videos and interactions with the audience provided a relaxing atmosphere at the end of an eventful day at COP27.
The notion that combatting climate change should be done in a cooperative manner was a recurring theme throughout the evening.
Opening the event, Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO, said, "Today we need action, concrete solutions, implementation and solidarity."
In his remarks, Ali Abo Sena, CEO of Egypt’s Environmental Agency, said, "There is a high commitment from the Egyptian government to move forward with climate action. One of the key priorities is an energy transition programme to move towards renewable energy and green hydrogen."
In the fight against climate change, Egypt is not going to stand aside and is wants to draw attention to the innovative solutions that have emerged, commented Ali Abo Sena. "I am happy today to be with UNIDO as a leading international organization working on industrial development. I am sure that their support and technical cooperation will move the green hydrogen topic on the global agenda, and that Egypt will be one of the countries which will benefit from such cooperation!"
The importance of partnerships with the private sector was also stressed. Egypt’s Orascom Construction, which supported the event, is an example of how the private sector can help contribute to facilitating the dialogue between different stakeholders.
Among speakers representing companies seeking to make an impact, OCI’s Vice-President, Hanh Nguyen, mentioned that the results her company have achieved would not have been possible without support from cross-value chain collaborations.
Iliass El Fali, Managing Director of Morocco’s OCP, noted that developments in sustainable agriculture will be part of the partnership planned with UNIDO.
Ayman Soliman, CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, said the investment fund is acting as a catalyst to mobilize partnerships and resources for scalable industrial solutions, while Javier Brey, Chairman of the Spanish Hydrogen Association, stressed that green hydrogen is a key to decarbonize industry, but said private-public cooperation is essential.
The evening concluded with a statement of hope from Paloma Escudero, Director of Global Communication and Advocacy at UNICEF. "We should make sure that in all investments in green energy, we also invest in people, in the education of youth, who need the right skills in order to benefit from this extraordinary commitment at COP towards clean energy."
She expressed her belief that UNIDO and UNICEF should work together to provide hope to millions of children who today suffer from climate change so that they can have a better future.