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Egypt’s COP27 Presidency sets out UNFCCC vision, urges world to act now

HE Sameh Shoukry

By Baboloki Semele

Egypt’s COP27 Presidency set out its vision for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, taking place in Egypt’s coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh from November 7th to the 18th. The aim is to make COP27 an implementation COP by urging action across prior agreements through all areas of climate change need with a focus on protecting people from the immediate impacts of climate change, ensuring no one is left behind.

Speaking about the vision for COP27, H.E. Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and COP27 President-Designate said: “We must accelerate climate action on all fronts including mitigation, adaptation, and finance in addition to adopting more ambitious mitigation measures to keep the 1.5c within reach. There can be no room for delay in the fulfillment of climate pledges or backtracking on hard-earned gains in the global fight against climate change. We must work together for implementation. We need to act and act now, to save lives and livelihoods.”

Speaking at a COP27 Global Press Briefing, Amb. Wael Aboulmagd, Special Representative of the COP27 President said: “We cannot underplay the threat that humanity is facing due to climate change; 4% of global economic output could be lost by 2050 due to climate change and 5 million people die every year because of temperature extremes … which will only get worse as temperatures increase.

“The cross-cutting issue is always going to be focused on finance. How are we going to pay for this? We cannot continue along an extremely adversarial trajectory. We need to find creative ways to come up with finance.

“Most importantly, we need all stakeholders on board … if we are to save lives and livelihoods and if we are to transform global economies from an unsustainable model that’s been followed for more than two centuries, to a sustainable low emission one that takes care of impoverished people and those suffering from the negative impacts of climate change.”

The focus on a just and managed transition to a new sustainable economic model was highlighted as critical to progress at COP27. The Paris Agreement recognized that nations have combined but differentiated responsibilities due to their historical greenhouse gas emissions. This puts the responsibility on developed nations to help developing nations with appropriate finance to make the transition to a more sustainable economy over time. The COP27 Presidency points to the need to first meet current financial commitments, with the $100 billion finance goal and the doubling of global adaptation finance and take global ambition on finance further if we are to deliver effective climate action.

The Presidency also welcomed actions by Scotland and Denmark as steps in the right direction in relation to loss and damage and encouraged other developed nations to follow their lead.

Amb. Mohamed Nasr, Lead Negotiator and Director General of Climate, Environment, and Sustainable Development at Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Current commitments are a floor and not a ceiling. More is needed if we are to deliver an effective response to protect people from climate change. Climate change won’t take a break and neither should we in our ambition to tackle it.”

To drive home that vision, the COP27 Presidency launched “Act Now”, a film that highlights the real and present danger of climate change, its man-made origins, and its man-made solutions, aims to encourage global decision-makers to avoid backtracking and to follow through on pledges by impressing on them the need to act now “because there is no extra time” and come together for implementation at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende