Climate pledges made in public must be mirrored in negotiations rooms: COP27 host Egypt

Amr Kandil , Friday 4 Nov 2022

Public pledges on climate action need to be mirrored in the negotiating room, said Egyptian Ambassador Wael Abul-Magd, special representatives of the president-designate for the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), set to be held 6-18 November in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

Conference hall for the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh on 1 November 2022.


Abul-Magd made his remarks during a virtual press briefing on Friday.

“Pledges and commitments to the global effort are made in front of cameras, but in the negotiating rooms we are back to the adversarial approach,” Abul-Magd said.

He stressed that public positions, such as those made in front of the UN General Assembly in New York, “will not be of value until unless they are mirrored and translated in the negotiating rooms and, frankly speaking, this has not been the case thus far.”

“We, in the incoming presidency and hopefully as responsible diplomats, ask everyone to rise to the occasion and to show leadership,” Abul-Magd said, warning against using the unfolding geopolitical situation as a pretext for backsliding on climate pledges.

The upcoming climate conference is expected to feature the participation of 120 heads of state and over 40,000 other participants, the highest number ever for a climate summit on the continent.

Also, more than 3,000 journalists and media professionals from around the world will cover the conference.

Egypt has reiterated on more than an occasion that it hopes to turn climate pledges into actions on the ground during COP27, which will be held under the theme “together for implementation.”

Egypt has also vowed to speak for Africa’s climate aspirations and push countries to fulfil their climate finance pledges.

Egypt’s vision to advance climate action at COP27 involves collaboration between governments, private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to focus on the issues of adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage and climate finance.

Egypt has expressed keenness to allow the greatest possible number of local and foreign civil society organisations to participate and express their views at COP27 and the UN has approved dozens of Egyptian and African NGOs to attend the conference.

Civil society will be permitted to organise demonstrations, protests and sit-ins, Abul-Magd affirmed, noting that protest organisers would have to register their contact numbers and the expected number of protesters via email on the COP27 website beforehand.

The presidency team will then nominate one or two people and put them in touch with the city authorities to agree on details of the demonstrations, including the timing, to make sure it is done in a safe fashion, Abul-Magd added.

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