Egypt continues consultations with international partners ahead of COP27

Hagar El-Shabrawy , Saturday 26 Feb 2022

Egypt held a number of consultative meetings with a host of international partners over the past week concerning the preparations for the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), slated for November in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, the director of climate department at the Egyptian foreign ministry, holds
Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, the director of climate department at the Egyptian foreign ministry, holds a consultative meeting with international partners over preparations for COP27. Egyptian foreign ministry

This included the first meeting of the newly launched joint working group between Egypt and the US to prepare for the UN climate change summit, said a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.

The Egyptian-US meeting addressed a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues of common interest related to the climate change conference's agenda, the statement added.

During a joint press conference on Monday, the US president's special envoy for climate John Kerry, who paid a two-day visit to Cairo, and Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry – the COP27 president-designate – launched the US-Egypt climate-working group to advance bilateral and multilateral climate goals ahead of COP27.

Kerry voiced during the presser his country's trust in Egypt's presidency of the COP27 conference as well as its keenness to push forward Egyptian-US efforts to face climate change problems.

Saturday's statement added that Egypt also held consultations with representatives from Germany, the current chair of the G7 summit, and Sweden, which will host in June the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the convening of the first UN conference on the environment under the title 'Stockholm + 50'.

The Egyptian side also held consultative meetings with officials of the COP26 conference – held in Glasgow in November 2021 – in preparation for handing over the presidency's responsibilities to Egypt.

Other meetings were also held with Selwyn Hart, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser and Assistant for Climate Action, and the UAE Special Envoy's team for Climate Change.

The meetings, according to the statement, tackled opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the areas of climate and environment, including renewable clean energy, with the participation of representatives of the country's ministries of environment, electricity and renewable energy, planning and economic development, international cooperation, trade and industry.

Ambassador Mohamed Nasr, the director of climate, environment and sustainable development department at the Egyptian foreign ministry, said the meetings come in line with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's assertion that Egypt – during its presidency of the COP27 – will adopt a neutral and transparent approach in a way that takes into account the priorities, concerns and viewpoints of the various parties.

"Serious, transparent and constructive dialogue with all countries and geographical and political groups provides the conditions required for the success of the Egyptian presidency of the conference and the formation of positive results based on consensus and serious commitment," the statement cited Nasr as saying.

President El-Sisi stressed that the COP27 summit will support efforts to reduce emissions and provide funding for developing countries to deal with climate change.

Climate finance has been a debated issue at every COP meeting since developed countries failed to meet their promise to mobilise $100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020 to help developing nations with mitigation and adaptation efforts.

In January, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Egypt will focus on meeting the obligations of the Paris Agreement and exploring how the private sector and NGOs can play a role in financing green investments during COP27.

Egypt has formed a committee presided over by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly that includes several ministers and other officials to organise the event.

Shoukry has been chosen to head the COP27, and Minister Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad will serve as the conference's ministerial envoy and coordinator.

On Friday, Egypt announced the appointment of its highly-experienced economist Mahmoud Mohieldin – who has been serving as an executive director at the International Monetary Fund – as the country’s high-level champion for climate action at the COP27.

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