Egypt s Foreign Minister and COP27 President-Designate Sameh Shoukry attending the Virtual Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) meeting on Thursday 27 January, 2022. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Foreign ministry Facebook page.
The forum was hosted by US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry via video conference, and Shoukry participated in preparation for the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP27), which is set to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022.
In his word, Minister Shoukry said the meeting provided an opportunity for dialogue with the world’s major economies to support collective international efforts against climate change.
The Egyptian FM said that he looks forward to seeing the major economies, which contribute the most polluting emissions, form a clear vision on how to transform the policies of their various economic sectors in a way that enhances the effectiveness of international efforts against climate change.
The MEF comprises countries that represent 80 percent of the global GDP, population, and greenhouse gas emissions. Other countries with critical perspectives on the climate crisis also participated in the meeting.
Shoukry also praised the success and momentum of COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, adding that adopting the Glasgow-Sharm El-Sheikh work programme to adapt to climate change represents progress.
Shoukry made it clear that Egypt is aware of the size of the responsibility entrusted to it as the president of COP27, adding that it intends to build on what was achieved during COP26.
The FM said Egypt is currently implementing the commitments of the Paris agreement and COP26, and that the country believes addressing climate change is not the sole responsibility of governments, but it includes also the private sector, the scientific and academic communities, and civil society organisations.
The Paris Climate Agreement — adopted at COP21 and signed by over 190 states, including Egypt — came into effect in 2016 with the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in this century.
Shoukry said there is a need to redefine the criteria for projects to which the funding can be directed as well as the need to take into account the consequences of the level of indebtedness of developing countries and their ability to obtain financing in this regard.
In November 2021, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called on developed countries during a speech delivered to the Glasgow conference to fulfil their pledge to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries to address the repercussions of climate change and to allocate at least half of all public climate finance to adaptation measures.
The countries participating in the MEF meeting, according to the US Department of State, were Antigua and Barbuda (as Alliance of Small Island States Chair), Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh (as Climate Vulnerable Forum Chair), Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt (as COP27 President), the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Marshall Islands (as the High Ambition Coalition Chair), Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal (as Least Developed Countries Chair), Turkey, United Kingdom, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the office of the UN Secretary-General.