African talks over climate change in 'pivotal' stage: Egypt PM

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Jun 2015

Egypt's PM Ibrahim Mahlab spoke instead of President El-Sisi in Johannesburg

Mahlab and Shoukry
Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab (R) with the country's Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry in South Africa (Photo: Foreign affairs ministry)

Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said on Monday during his speech at the African Union NEPAD summit in Johannesburg that African countries are going through a “pivotal” stage in negotiations over climate change.

Mahlab delivered the speech on behalf of President Abd El-Fattah El-Sisi who currently chairs the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), as well as the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).

The PM said African countries are engaged in important negotiations over climate change aiming to reach a new agreement that “guarantees the interests of [Africa] and its right to growth”.

He called on African countries to adopt a “united stance and a common view” on climate change policies.

He also presented a report on the developments reached by climate and environment committees over the past six months. The report included updates on funding and technology, state of renewable energy production in Africa, climate change negotiations and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s).

Mahlab attended the AU summit held in Johannesburg on behalf of El-Sisi who canceled his visit over increasing preoccupation with projects and developments in Egypt, a presidential statement said, and not for “security concerns” as some media reports had alleged.

Meanwhile, Egypt has recently intensified diplomatic efforts to strengthen its relations with African nations, stressing its commitment to meet Africa’s 2063 agenda.

Egypt also recently hosted a tripartite African economic summit in Sharm El-Sheikh where African leaders signed a deal which would create a 26-state common market that comprises 57 percent of the population of the continent.

Under El-Sisi, Egypt has started new economic and infrastructure projects around the continent, including developing a shipping line and improving road links.

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