COP27, COP28 will propel Egypt, UAE in driving climate action: Egyptian minister

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With just weeks to go before the UN climate summit hosted by Egypt begins, the country’s environment minister said that COP27 and the following COP28 - to be hosted by the UAE in 2023 - will embody the pioneering roles of Egypt and UAE in driving the process of sustainable development and climate action.

Egypt has pushed to prioritize climate finance for developing nations at the COP27 conference in Sharm El Sheikh which will be attended by around 90 heads of state.

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More than 35,000 people are expected to participate in the conference, which will be held at the Red Sea resort city from November 6 to 18.

Ahead of COP27, Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of Egypt and Ministerial Coordinator and Envoy for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), has told the Emirates News Agency (WAM), that the two countries must now support the international climate action efforts, noting the significance of the hosting of COP27 in Egypt and COP28 in the UAE.

“Egypt's hosting of COP27 is being prioritised by the country and its political leadership,” she said. “The preparations for COP27 include transforming Sharm El Sheikh into Egypt's first green city by updating relevant systems and establishing new renewable energy plants to power conference halls, hotels and transportation with clean energy, as well as increasing the capacity of Sharm El Sheikh Airport by constructing a new solar energy plant.”

Egypt’s other plans include the launch of a green tourism system and promoting sustainable practices, which include re-using water for agriculture and parks, among other uses, increasing the renewable energy capacity of all hotels and boosting their internet capacity, while a landmark ten-year contract in Sharm El Sheikh.

BEEAH Group and Green Planet will implement future-ready waste management strategies that align with Egypt's sustainability agenda.

Fouad said COP27 comes at a critical time.

“In 2022, we are facing many challenges, including the economic crisis and energy and food shortages, which require further action to ensure that all parties meet their obligation pledges at COP26, most notably those related to ways of adapting to climate change,” she said. “The Egyptian government announced the theme of COP27 as “Implementation Conference,” but implementation does not only mean financial pledges; but also, the actual implementation of policies for the planet's interest.”

“For example, the world is currently addressing the issue of energy security. The conference is about the gradual transformation to clean and renewable energy, which requires new technologies that will enable developing countries to transit to new and renewable energy, as well as draft plans that will enable them to achieve this transition.”

“These challenges could create new opportunities for the international community to unite again in facing common challenges.”

Fouad said the Egyptian government will make all humanitarian needs and related implementation procedures available at COP27.

COP27 will be divided into several parts.

The World Leaders Summit, which takes place in the first two days of the conference, will set the overall tone on what is needed to fulfil the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and keep the 1.5°C global warming temperature limitation within reach.

A special part has also been allocated to the Egyptian presidency programme, which involves high-priority humanitarian thematic days covering agriculture, adaptations, energy, water, biodiversity, women, civil society and the youth.

The conference's activities will involve several international initiatives that will include the “Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative,” a global early warning system, biodiversity and marine life project, and how to protect maritime species, the “Waste Segregation in Africa Initiative,” and the goal to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

The final part of COP27 will be dedicated to inclusion.

“This is not only limited to governments, as the world is witnessing environmental disasters that do not differentiate between developed and developing countries,” said Fouad.

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s President, has launched several initiatives, most notably the World Youth Forum. During COP27, a youth conference will be held prior to the official launch of the event, where young representatives will be able to present the Global Youth Statement and key policies for driving climate ambition to high-level policymakers.

“There are many national initiatives to help young people engage in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working in the area of environmental protection, including transforming agricultural waste to biogas targeting 60 million Egyptians and riding bikes instead of vehicles to reduce emissions,” said Fouad.

On the upcoming COP28 climate conference, which will be held at Expo City Dubai - the reimagined site of the Expo 2020 Dubai world fair – Fouad said: “We are proud of the partnership between Egypt and the UAE, which extends further to just organising climate conferences. We believe that COP28 is the continuation of COP27, and the hosting of both events by Arab countries sends a strong message to the world.”

“COP27 and COP28 will continue the pioneering role of Egypt and the UAE in driving the process of environmentally-friendly sustainable development.”

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