Egypt s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi delivers a speech at the leaders summit of the COP27 climate conference at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt s Red Sea resort city of the same name, on November 7, 2022. AFP
Inaugurating the two-day high-level gathering, El-Sisi said the world needs to overcome the current climate crisis by taking real steps not by adopting slogans.
“Our peoples expect us to take real and concrete steps towards reducing emissions, enhancing adaptation with the consequences of climate change, and providing the necessary financing for developing countries that suffer the most from the current climate crisis,” he added.
All the efforts should focus on implementing measures that curb climate change, El-Sisi asserted, adding that the coming generations must not bear the consequences of mistakes they did not make.
There is hope for a better future, El-Sisi said, despite the global challenges that are affecting the world's ability to realise the Paris Agreement goals and protect the planet from temperature increases of 2.5°C and 3°C.
He said hope rests on “peoples who have become more aware and knowledgeable of the scale of the challenges and the requirements to address them, and the high price of inaction,” and also on “governments that know what they need to do and seek to do that according to their capabilities.”
Hope also hinges on “a global business sector and civil society that own the tools that qualify them to play important roles within this framework,” he added.
El-Sisi highlighted Egypt's efforts to counter climate change, including the launch of the National Strategy to Address Climate Change,
He added that the country is pressing ahead with efforts to accelerate the pace of green transformation by relying more on renewable energy and clean transport.
Egypt has taken concrete steps towards the structural transformation of bills, legislation, and government working mechanisms to contribute to the promotion of green investments, he noted.
The Egyptian president said the recently launched national programmes for investing in water, energy, and food projects (NWFE) is an embodiment of this ambition and trend.
Egypt’s transition towards a low-emission green economy in all fields is a practical demonstration of the need for effective implementation on the ground, he said, adding it is also “a good example that hope still exists to overcome the challenges imposed by climate change, if there is a will.”
Mutual trust, Africa's priorities
The world’s ability to move ahead in a unified and coordinated manner to implement climate commitments and pledges is contingent on the level of trust among all parties, that is “if we truly want a future where temperature remains below 2°C and if we are truly determined to create a future for all by all,” he pointed out.
Developing countries, especially in Africa, should feel that their priorities are addressed and taken into consideration, he reiterated.
“These countries bear their responsibilities to the best of their abilities and the amount of appropriate support and finance, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, grants them some satisfaction with their position on global efforts to combat climate change,” he added.
More steps needed by developed countries
The president called on developed countries to take additional, serious steps to fulfil the pledges they have taken upon themselves to finance and support adaptation efforts and address the losses and damages resulting from climate change in developing and least developed countries.
He urged practical tracks to achieve a balanced transition towards a green economy and to take into account the special circumstances and conditions of these countries.
El-Sisi called on world leaders to deliver clear messages, including specific steps to implement commitments and pledges.
He called for setting more nationally determined contributions, raising national strategies' ambitions to reduce emissions, and launching ambitious and effective initiatives that gather proactive actors around clear goals with regard to adaptation and financing.
The president also invited world leaders to join initiatives Egypt intends to launch during the conference.
El-Sisi also called on all parties to advise their negotiators, who will start two weeks of important negotiations, to be flexible and to work on building trust and consensus in order to reach positive outcomes.
The leaders’ summit is set to run through Tuesday, with some 110 heads of state and government expected to deliver their national statements on climate issues.
Other meetings on the sidelines of COP27 are set to be held over the coming two weeks in Sharm El-Sheikh.