UN secretary-general hails Egypt’s role in facing climate change impacts locally and globally

Ahram Online , Thursday 11 Nov 2021

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, hailed on Thursday Egypt’s efforts to face the impacts of climate change locally and globally while taking into consideration African countries’ interests.

Antonio Guterres
File Photo: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres taken on June 24, 2021. AP

Guterres made his remarks in a meeting with Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, and Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said in Glasgow.

During the meeting that was held on the sidelines of the UN’s 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP26), Guterres welcomed Egypt’s scheduled hosting of the COP27 next year in Sharm El-Sheikh, a statement by the environment ministry read.

Guterres also lauded Egypt’s input in the discussions with the COP26, which has been taking place from 31 October and will continue to run until 12 November 2021.

Fouad invited Guterres to visit Egypt’s pavilion at the COP26 to review the projects Egypt has carried out, reiterating the country’s integration of climate and environment friendly practices into its developmental sectors.

She expressed Egypt’s keenness that the COP27 takes into account the concerns of developing and African countries.

Then, Al-Mashat highlighted the necessity of joint and collaborative efforts to advance climate action and achieve the fastest transformation towards a green economy.

She briefed Guterres on the Egyptian initiative that would be introduced in Egypt’s pavilion at the Glasgow summit regarding developing an international framework for innovative financing for climate action.

This, Al-Mashat added, should be carried out by enhancing the role of the private sector and building on successful partnerships with international development banks and the banking sector.

Additionally, El-Said stated that Egypt has started to implement programmes seeking to secure a safe and decent social life for Egyptians in parallel with the state’s orientation towards a green economy.

Consequently, Guterres hailed Egypt’s efforts regarding its role in climate-financing negotiations, which have contributed to the issuance of the Paris Agreement action plan.

​Earlier this month, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on developed countries to fulfil their pledge to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries to address the effects of climate change.

In a speech delivered to the COP26, El-Sisi seconded Guterres’ remarks at the event, which highlighted the need to allocate at least half of all public climate finance to adaptation measures.

He affirmed the need to preserve the Paris Climate Accords to ensure the bolstering of efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to the negative implications of climate change.

The president also vowed that Egypt would seek to enhance international climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement during the country’s presidency of the COP27, affirming this will achieve the interests of the global community.

The Paris Climate Accords — adopted at the COP21 and signed by over 190 states including Egypt — came into effect in 2016 with the aim of reducing the rate of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in this century.

El-Sisi said strengthening climate action to achieve this rate has become “imperative and undeferrable.”

In 2019, Egypt co-chaired a coalition with the UK on climate adaptation and resilience at the UN Climate Action Summit.

Egypt also hosted the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2018.

Furthermore, the country has implemented many steps to implement a sustainable development model centred on adapting to climate change.

Egypt seeks to increase the percentage of government-funded green projects to 50 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030, El-Sisi said during his remarks at the COP26.

The country also seeks to boost the percentage of renewable energy sources in its energy mix from the current 20 percent to 42 percent by 2035.

It also aims to rationalise energy subsidies.

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