Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi meets U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) for bilateral talks during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
CAIRO - 26 August 2019: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that Africa is the most affected continent in the world by the impacts of climate change, announcing Egypt’s accession to Metz Charter on Biodiversity.
This came during his speech at the Climate, Biodiversity, and Oceans Session in the 2019 G7 Summit, held in France’s Biarritz.
Although Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions contribute only a small fraction of the world's total emissions, it is the most affected continent by the impacts of climate change, said President Sisi.
“Undoubtedly, climate change is one of the most serious of these [environmental] issues that threaten us directly. So, our ambitions and commitments should be nurtured to address it [climate change], with safe fulfillment of our commitments,” President Sisi stressed.
President Sisi called on the international community to uphold the principle of cooperation despite the different burdens that face each country or each continent. President Sisi also highlighted the importance of balancing the efforts of CO2 emission reduction with the adaptation to the climate change.
He shed light on the importance of providing sustainable and appropriate financing and required expertise and technology to developing countries to address this phenomenon, without imposing more burdens on African countries that could lead to the increase their indebtedness.
“Egypt had never spared an effort, through its presidency of the G77 and China Meeting on Climate Change in 2018 and of the African Group of the Climate Change, to ensure the success of activating the Paris Accord on Climate Change,” Sisi said, adding that Egypt and the United Kingdom will co-chair an alliance on adaptation and resilience at the Climate Summit in New York, set to convene in September upon a call from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
‘Metz Charter on Biodiversity’
In his speech, President Sisi also announced Egypt’s accession to the Metz Charter on Biodiversity, which was signed by the G7 Environment Ministers (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), five other countries and the EU commissioner for environment. The signing was witnessed by Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad on May 9, 2019 in France’s Metz.
“I announce Egypt's accession to the Metz Charter, believing in the need to preserve biodiversity, which is an essential element for achieving a sustainable development that is consistent with Egypt's initiative launched during hosting the 14th Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties (COP 14) in Sharm el-Sheikh in November 2018,” said President Sisi.
The charter was signed by the G7 environment ministers and other states after a report issued by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) revealed that about 1 million animal and plant species are threatened of extinction, with an unprecedented number expected to disappear in the coming decades.
He added that Egypt’s initiative aims to promote coordination among the three Rio Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification to address biodiversity loss, the negative impacts of climate change and land degradation.
The president called for increasing public awareness of getting rid of plastic waste that endangers the marine life of oceans, imposing legislations and tightening mechanisms addressing such issues.
On Aug. 24, President Sisi arrived in Biarritz to participate in the three-day summit, which convenes under theme “Fighting Inequality”.
The summit addresses a number of issues, including international security, countering terrorism, cybersecurity, human trafficking and illegal migration, as well as combating inequality and supporting women empowerment especially in Africa. The summit also tackles the global economic and financial system, as well as environmental, climate and diversity issues.