Ali Abdou, 38, is advocating for climate change by breaking records. Last week, he started a 30-day ride on his electric motorcycle to raise awareness of climate change by touring Egypt’s governorates.
“Eighty million people are predicted to die because of climate change during the coming years,” Abdou told a press conference to announce his endeavour.
His initiative “Ride to the COP27”, will be the longest journey on an electric motorcycle yet undertaken, he said. It aims to raise awareness ahead of the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.
Abdou’s initiative was launched last June under the auspices of Go Green, a national initiative aimed at spreading environmental awareness and urging young people to protect the ecosystem.
The ride, according to Abdou, is the first of its kind, incorporating the use of electric motorsport to achieve environmental goals. The tour started last week from Abu Simbel in Upper Egypt and will end in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, where the COP27 is being held.
Abdou hopes the trip will enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest trip on an electric motorbike ever undertaken and the longest trip in the same country.
A corporate social responsibility manager at one of the world’s leading information companies, Abdou has a track record of achieving world records. He attained his first in 2016 with a ride around Egypt for seven days to tell the world that people can visit any place in Egypt safely, even on a motorcycle.
By taking that trip he also aimed at promoting tourism and highlighting Egypt’s numerous tourist destinations.
In 2017, he achieved his second world record in Al-Gouna to promote adventure tourism in Egypt. His third world record was in 2021 for riding an electric motorcycle to promote sustainable development goals in New Alamein city on the North Coast. It was also intended to promote sustainable transportation and pollution reduction, Abdou told Al-Ahram Weekly.
According to Abdou, the aim is to inspire young people to fight climate change and encourage them to participate in governmental and societal efforts to reducing harmful emissions.
He wants to show the world how climate change is affecting Egyptian society and to urge countries to reduce emissions and support impacted communities, he said at the press conference.
He has focused on this by promoting and raising awareness of the COP27 among young people. He also hopes to unify the efforts of parties working in the environmental field and raise awareness of adaptation to climate change, as well as highlight the environmental efforts of the state, civil society, and the private sector.
The ride will cover 15,000 km, during which he will be visiting places most impacted by climate change. He will also visit 30 different environmental, touristic, and industrial sites in Egypt. He hopes the trip will shed light on success stories in combating climate change in the country.
“Individuals are the key to any change,” is the message he said he wants to deliver to Egypt and the rest of the world. “This issue affects everyone,” he concluded.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 20 October, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.