Egypt, UK affirm commitment to accelerating the fight against climate change

Ahram Online , Saturday 15 Jan 2022

Egypt and the UK have affirmed their commitment to accelerating the fight against climate change as well as maintaining and building on the current momentum for global climate action.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) meets with Alok Sharma, president for Cop26, 15 January 2021. Egyptian foreign ministry

This came in a joint press release following a meeting in Cairo on Saturday between Alok Sharma, who acted as president for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and COP27 President Designate Sameh Shoukry and Egypt’s Minister of Environment and COP27 Ministerial Coordinator and Envoy Yasmine Fouad.

The meeting was held to follow-up on the outcomes of COP26 and in preparation for COP27, which will be held in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in November.

"We will work together in 2022 and beyond to drive ambitious implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement," read the joint statement.

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.

The statement added that both sides agreed to work together to deliver on the outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5 degrees in reach and support developing countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Sharma stressed the UK's "full" support to Egypt to deliver "ambitious" outcomes at COP27, including ensuring that it delivers for those most vulnerable to climate change.

Both current and upcoming conference presidents emphasised the urgency of action required to address the gaps in mitigation, adaptation and finance, as well as the importance of using the best available science.

Shoukry and Sharma hailed the "significant progress" made at COP26, but underscored the need to do "much more," particularly to implement commitments made.

"Through our partnership … we will work together to encourage all Parties to meet their commitments across mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and finance; including in enhancing [Nationally Determined Contributions] NDCs and stepping up ambition therein, ensuring accelerated delivery of the $100bn and to make progress towards doubling of adaptation finance on 2019 levels."

Both nations said they will share experience and expertise and work closely with key partners, including the UNFCCC secretariat and the chairs of the subsidiary bodies.

"We will pursue inclusive leadership and engagement that leaves no issue and no one behind, and enables the voices of all Parties, civil society, and vulnerable groups, including youth and indigenous peoples, to be heard," noted the statement.

Both sides also agreed "to continue close consultations in the months ahead, both on the ministerial and technical levels."

In his remarks in a meeting with international media representatives on the sidelines of the fourth edition of the World Youth Forum (WYF) on Wednesday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Egypt is exerting much effort with international parties to ensure reaching goals during the COP27, which will be held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in November.

During his speech delivered to the COP26 in Glasgow last November, El-Sisi offered assurances that Egypt would seek during its presidency of the COP27 to enhance international climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement, which will achieve the interests of the global community.

He also 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.

In a pre-recorded speech by El-Sisi in the World Leaders Summit on Climate Change on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly in September, El-Sisi vowed that Egypt’s hosting of the conference would be a major turning point in the global fight against climate change.

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