Sisi urges states to update their strategies under Paris climate deal

Sisi urges states to update their strategies under Paris climate deal
By Marwa Nassar - -

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi called on all countries to update their Nationally Determined Contributions in accordance with the Paris climate agreement and raise their ambitious commitments ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) which will be held in Egypt in November.

A few days ago, Egypt submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution document, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, including ambitious and specific quantitative goals in a number of key sectors, Sisi said in his speech during the High-Level Session of Petersberg Climate Dialogue which was co-chaired by Egypt and Germany.

Sisi also stressed the need to exert all efforts to support African countries, empower them to benefit from their natural resources, and achieve economic development in accordance with efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment.

He stressed that Egypt will spare no effort to render the COP27 successful  by securing the proper climate for all parties, including states, international organizations, civil society and others to realize real progress on the governmental negotiating track, which is the main determinant of international climate policies. On this track, Egypt will seek to reach broad consensus on the topics under negotiation.

“This also includes making progress on informal tracks, which have become a major supporter of international climate action. Through these tracks, we will work on launching initiatives and sponsoring a large number of constructive dialogues and discussions between various governmental and non-governmental parties during the conference to ensure comprehensive outcomes that contribute to maintaining the 1.5°C target within reach and putting the world on the right path towards implementing the Paris goals and the resolutions of successive climate summits,” Sisi said.

Egypt is hosting the COP27 at a time when the world is facing consecutive challenges, topped by the global energy and food crises, the president noted.

“This is, in addition to the accumulation of debt, poor flow of funds, the negative impact of the Coronavirus and the complicated political scene, caused by the war in Ukraine,” Sisi added.

“This places a formidable responsibility on our shoulders as an international community to ensure that these difficulties will not impact the pace of implementation of our common vision to address climate change, which was reflected in the Paris Agreement, and confirmed last year in Glasgow,” he highlighted.

“All scientific projections and reports clearly confirm that climate change has become an existential threat to many countries and societies worldwide to the extent that it is no longer possible to postpone the implementation of climate-related pledges and commitments. Perhaps, the heat wave experienced by the European continent these days is a good evidence of the accuracy of these projections. This propels us all to intensify the required work, especially as all parties have unanimously agreed that the priority in the next stage is to implement the Paris Agreement and turn the Nationally Determined Contributions into a reality within the framework of the international principles governing international climate action. This mainly includes fairness, common but differentiated responsibility and varying capabilities of states,” Sisi said.

Therefore, the Egyptian presidency’s efforts for COP27 focus mainly on getting the global climate summit to be a turning point in the field of international climate action, especially through maintaining international momentum and affirming commitment of all governmental and non-governmental parties to turn their promises and pledges into actual implementation on the ground so as to ensure transition to a low-emission economy capable of dealing with and adapting to the negative effects of climate change in addition to contributing to enhancing the size, quality and mechanisms of climate financing available to developing countries, the president said.

Climate financing is the cornerstone for empowering developing countries to play their role within the global climate efforts, he stressed.

To achieve this vision, Egypt counts on the support of all parties and their contributions to building confidence that shall help achieve the aspired results for peoples, he said.

“In this regard, I would like to laud the statements on climate change, the environment and development, emanating from the last summit of the G7 of the world’s leading industrial nations here in Germany last month, which included positive political positions and clear visions on supporting a fair energy transition process in a number of developing countries,” he said.

“Within this context, we underscore the importance of expanding the scale of this support to include other developing countries, which also exert unyielding efforts to this end,” Sisi said, underlining the importance of the participation of international finance institutions and banks in supporting this transition.

“At the same time, we stress the need to translate these positions and visions into reality in the various negotiations trajectories, within the context of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. These are trajectories which often counter positions inconsistent with the positive intentions and orientations, voiced at the political level,” he said.

He added that “Our African continent lies at the heart of these challenges and is affected by them more than other regions due to its special situation, limited capacities to address these crises and limited financing available to overcome these difficulties. The recent food and energy crises have exacerbated the challenges that African countries must face.

“In addition to the real threat posed by climate change, the continent’s countries suffer from desertification, water scarcity, high sea levels, floods, torrential rains among other extreme weather conditions, changing at a faster pace and leaving a stronger impact,” he said.

“In this regard, I would like to stress the need to exert all efforts to support our African countries, empower them to benefit from their natural resources, and achieve economic development in accordance with efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment. This shall take place through a comprehensive approach that considers the national economic and developmental conditions of each country, especially as the African countries have already made great strides in this direction, given the vast areas of forests that they have and their capabilities to generate energy from the sun and wind. This is in addition to the possibility of producing green hydrogen, while taking into consideration that equitable transition must be tackled from a comprehensive perspective that is not only limited to the energy sector, but also includes various sectors, such as agriculture, industry, transportation and others,” he said.

Egypt’s efforts for sustainable development and climate action:

“Egypt has stepped up efforts to take effective steps to shift to a sustainable development model, in line with efforts to preserve the environment and confront climate change out of its belief in the right of its children and future generations for a better future as well as its awareness of the opportunities which green transformation brings about with regard to  achieving economic development in many vital sectors,” he added.

“For example, Egypt is taking serious steps to raise the share of renewable energy in the energy mix and is preparing a comprehensive strategy for hydrogen. It also seeks to implement ambitious plans for electrical interconnection with the region’s countries in a way that turns Egypt into a renewable energy hub in its region, in addition to continuous efforts to raise energy efficiency and reduce carbon and methane emissions in the oil and gas sector,” he said.

“In the sector of transportation, Egypt is implementing wide-ranging plans to rely more on clean transportation by expanding metro and train networks and localizing the electric car industry. In parallel, Egypt has strengthened its steps aimed at adapting to the negative effects of climate change, including projects to rationalize water use, lining canals, integrated management of coastal areas, early warning mechanisms and others.” Sisi said.

“As it realizes the responsibility it shoulders and prepares for assuming the leadership of climate change action in the coming period, while confirming its commitment to the effective contribution to the international climate change efforts, a few days ago Egypt submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution document, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, including ambitious and specific quantitative goals in a number of key sectors,” he said.

“This reflects the efforts that Egypt has made and continues to make in these areas and clarifies the needs that these efforts require, in terms of funding and technical and technological support that must be provided, within the framework of the effective developmental partnership, between Egypt and countries, banks, and international financial institutions.”

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