Egypt FM says no room for ‘political, economic polarization’ at COP27 climate summit

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that there will be no room for “strong political and economic polarization and dynamics of politicization and contestation” at the upcoming COP27 UN climate talks, the official Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Monday.

COP27 will be held amidst a global context of strong geopolitical and geo-economic tension and polarization that we hope will not make it more difficult to tackle common global challenges, notably climate change,” Shoukry told WAM.

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“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.”

With just a couple of weeks to go before the UN climate summit takes place in Egypt’s coastal town of Sharm El Sheikh, the foreign minister urged all parties involved to “honor their shared responsibilities and focus on this existential issue facing humanity at large,” adding that they must “make sure that the ongoing international conflicts and crises and the current global polarization won’t in any way spill over to this field.”

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

“The parties participating in the climate summit should realize 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,” said Shoukry.

“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 polarization and the dynamics of politicization and contestation.”

The climate conference comes at a time when taking action has become absolutely necessary. A recent survey found that concern about climate change shrank across the world over the past year, with less than half of those questioned believing it posed a serious threat to their countries in the next 20 years.

But despite the shrinking concern, the ecological bill of climate change is growing globally.

Another study, conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace in 228 countries and territories, found that 750 million people globally are now impacted by climate change, undernourishment, and rising inflation rates brought on by Russia’s war in Ukraine which already had a huge impact on global food security.

The study also found that over 1.4 billion people in 83 countries faced extreme water stress –where more than 20 percent of the population do not have access to clean drinking water.

In addition, several European countries are expected to experience critical clean water shortages by 2040, including countries like Italy, the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal.

The report suggested that the regions most hit by water shortages will include sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.

Read more:

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

Concern about climate change shrinks globally as threat grows: Study

Explainer: COP’s most significant contributions to environmental protection

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