CAIRO - 23 October 2022: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Sunday that Egypt will launch initiatives on food security, agriculture and energy along with a Decent Life initiative in Africa during the climate change confernce to be held in Sharm El Sheikh next month.
Shoukry, in an interview with WAM news agency, articulated the central importance of the ‘COP27’ , calling for pulling the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC out of the ongoing context of “strong political and economic polarisation and the dynamics of politicisation and contestation.”
“COP27 will be held amidst a global context of strong geopolitical and geo-economic tension and polarisation that we hope will not make it more difficult to tackle common global challenges, notably climate change. We need to spare this milestone session of the conference the ongoing international conflicts, disputes, and contestations, because any failure to address the climate change challenges, or any backtracking on climate pledges will get the world to a 'point of no return' beyond which extremely dangerous climate change impacts can become unavoidable,” the Egyptian top diplomat said.
“This has been a message we’ve been sending out over the past period to all parties concerned, whether through the informal ministerial meetings that were held throughout the year or during the preparatory meeting for COP27, which was held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo earlier this month. All these parties should honour their shared responsibilities and focus on this existential issue facing humanity at large, which is climate change. We must make sure that the ongoing international conflicts and crises and the current global polarisation won't in any way spill over to this field.”
Shoukry in this regard cited international reports regarding the need to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. “If we go beyond 1.5 degree of global warming, negative consequences will become unavoidable, and it will be impossible for the world to go back to where we used to be,” he warned.
“The parties participating in the climate summit should realise that the core and crux of this conference is to address the climate change challenges, and that it is not a forum to address any other issues that is not relevant to climate action. Therefore, our common interest is to continue pushing forward towards concerted international efforts from all parties concerned to address this burning issue that’s taking a toll on all of us. All possible efforts must be made to pull the conference out of the ongoing context of strong political and economic polarisation and the dynamics of politicisation and contestation.”
Asked on the approaches adopted by Egypt toward the global efforts made to address climate change, Shoukry said, “COP27 focuses on a set of key climate-related issues, primarily emissions reduction; adaptation to the negative effects of climate change; financing; and the issue of losses and damages.
“There is a consensus that tackling these key issues hinges on the ability of the international community to deal with the challenges of climate change and to work on building confidence among all parties - developed and developing countries - to provide the necessary resources so that the concerned countries can assume their responsibility toward a fair, sustainable transition from dependence on fossil fuels to the new and renewable energy and embark on a path of negotiation and consultation on the issue of losses and damages.”
The Egyptian presidency, he continued, is working to provide a favourable ecosystem to encourage all parties concerned to reach a consensus, and to make concessions that ultimately serve the collective interest to realise the aspired goal. “Throughout 2022, we have been working to encourage the world countries to increase their voluntary national commitments in the context of reducing emissions, as well as to emphasise the importance of adaptation. We all have seen the devastating consequences of the recent floods and torrents in Pakistan and the need for the Pakistani government to take measures to protect their people. And to do that, there must be resources for such countries to remedy these effects and to work to contain them. Therefore, we hope there will be consensus and clear political will that leads to the achievement of this common goal.”