‘Vast majority' of nations say Egypt climate plan 'balanced': COP27 president

Ahram Online , AFP , AP , Saturday 19 Nov 2022

"The vast majority of the parties indicated to me they considered the text balanced and that they constitute a potential breakthrough that can lead to consensus," Shoukry, who is also Egypt's foreign minister, told journalists as the talks went into overtime.

Sameh Shourky  AP
COP27 President and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in his press conference at Sharm El-Sheikh on Saturday. Photo : AP


“None of the groups could say all interests were reflected but the vast majority think the text is balanced and can be a breakthrough that can lead to consensus,” he said in a press conference held on Saturday, adding that the groups of parties wanted to explore the text further and the opportunity will be provided to them to do so.

“There is never a perfect solution, but I have made an effort to provide a basis to move forward," he said.

After listening and looking into different perspectives and points of view, texts have been prepared on three issues in a balanced way, according to Shoukry who added that those texts will be a starting point to move forward.

“We will consult with the designated groups and give them the opportunity to review and comment on the texts as well as put forward some necessary amendments,” he told the reporters.

Shoukry stated that he will also consult with the UN Secretary-General

The Egyptian foreign minister stressed that there was no room or opportunity for any of the groups in the conference to say that all the interests are reflected in those texts.

“I think they are balanced and constitute potential breakthroughs that can be achieved and agreed upon unanimously,” he said, adding that the responsibility lays now on the state parties to move forward.

“The world is now watching us, and the time is not on our side, we must show the necessary flexibility in order to satisfy all parties,” Shoukry said.

“There are many solutions, and we have to provide the foundations on which to build, and I hope that we will reach an agreement,” he said, concluding the press conference.

According to Shoukry, the COP extended to Saturday because the different parties need to agree on loss and damage, the global goal on adaption and the Mitigation Work Programme.

Concerning the European accusation that the proposed text abandons the 1.5 °C warming limit, Shoukry clarified that the text keeps the goal alive

“We recognise the importance of 1.5 as well as dimensions related to climate change,” he asserted.

Sameh Shoukry stated the Egyptian presidency has been involved through the past two weeks in Sharm El-Sheikh as well as been involved in a consultive process on loss and damage talks six months ago with ministers from all over the world.

Initially set to wrap up Friday, the climate talks extended into Saturday with little sign of a breakthrough, as negotiations remain hung up on key issues including funds for the loss and damage suffered by poorer vulnerable countries hit by extreme weather.

Egypt, the host of the COP27, proposed a package of resolutions that have received mixed responses.

New Zealand's Minister of Climate Changes James Shaw said that the draft “has been received quite poorly by pretty much everybody,'' adding that delegations are going into another round of talks.

Speaking to reporters, Shaw called the draft “entirely unsatisfactory.”

He added that the proposal “abandons really any hope of achieving 1.5 °C,” referring to the warming limit agreed upon at the Paris agreement back in 2015.

He said parties will continue to work on reaching a consensus on a loss and damage fund for developing nations.

“Everybody wants an outcome on loss and damage, and everybody wants to keep 1.5 °C alive. So that is what we are going to keep doing,'' he said.

German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock says that responsibility for the fate of the UN climate talks “now lies in the hands of the Egyptian COP presidency.''

She said the European Union had made clear overnight that “we will not sign a paper here that diverges significantly from the 1.5 °C path, that would bury the goal of 1.5 °C.''

“If these climate conferences set us back then we would not have needed to travel here in the first place,'' she said.

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