Countries at climate risk should not incur more debt burdens: Egypt FM Shoukry

Ahram Online , Thursday 21 Sep 2023

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, the president of the COP27 which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2022, stressed on Wednesday that countries at climate risk should not incur extra debt burdens or be subject to conditions that do not consider their emergency needs or challenges.

COP27 President Sameh Shoukry speaking during a meeting on climate loss and damage on the sideline of the UNGA 78 in New York on Wednesday 20 September 2023. (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Speaking during a meeting with the UN secretary-general and leaders of international financing institutions in New York on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78), Shoukry added that international financial institutions – including multilateral development banks – can play a "crucial" role in addressing the costs associated with climate change and losses and damages.

Climate finance, Shoukry noted, faces three challenges namely – how to increase its volume, ensure its rapid accessibility, and be facilitated through grants and soft financing tools.

Shoukry praised the commitment displayed at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh which resulted in reaching a "historic" agreement to establish a fund to deal with climate loss and damage in developing countries.

As per the United Nations Environment Programme, African nations – the most vulnerable to climate impacts despite being the least contributor to it – have to spend up to five times more on adapting to the climate crisis than on healthcare.

The COP27 president also stressed that climate financing, including funding losses and damages, must come as additional support, and not at the expense of resources allocated to combat poverty and development needs.

He pointed out that the recent natural disasters like last year's floods in Pakistan, the recent cyclone in Libya, forest fires in the Mediterranean, and droughts in the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions wiped out decades of development gains.

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