-Says Nations must move from pledges and promises to meaningful action
By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
Egypt Foreign Minister H.E. Sameh Shoukry was today formally elected as the COP27 President by the Parties during the opening plenary.
Addressing climate envoys and delegates at what is considered to be one of the largest COPs ever in terms of attendance, the new COP President, HE Shoukry called on countries to show faith in multilateralism over the next two weeks as they negotiate to deliver on the goals of the Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement.
Minister Shoukry acknowledged the tireless efforts of his predecessor, COP26 President Alok Sharma, and thanked Mr. Sharma and his team for their effort and dedication with everything they achieved in hosting COP26 and commended the outcomes and agreements their work helped to secure, reiterating the commitment of the Egyptian Presidency to deliver on an impactful and inclusive COP.
In his words “It comes as no surprise to anyone that the COP is being held this year in a world which is witnessing political turmoil that cast a long shadow on all our nations and has resulted in energy and food crises; however, these challenges should be no reason for delaying our collective effort to fight climate change. It is inherent on us all in Sharm El Sheikh to demonstrate our recognition of the magnitude of the challenges we face and our steadfast resolve to overcome it.”
He highlighted that Egypt made sure that COP27 will provide the optimum setting to align and converge multiple views, and facilitate transparent, inclusive, and fruitful discussion to ensure the most positive outcome achievable.
He stressed that albeit the challenging economic and geopolitical factors, external circumstances should not be allowed to negatively affect the negotiating process, adding that as a COP hosted in Africa, it must consider the needs of the developing countries and ensure climate justice through availing the appropriate finance and other means of implementation, as countries that are the least responsible for emissions are the most affected by climate change.
The conference of the parties adopted its agenda, and for the first time since the adoption of the UN climate convention, parties agreed to introduce loss and damage funding as an agenda item at the climate conference, after a yearlong work culminating in 48 hours of continuous informal consultations led by the Egyptian COP Presidency on the eve of the COP.
Shoukry lauded the sense of responsibility and commitment that parties showed, as well as the collective keenness on preserving the credibility and relevance of the climate process by making the right decision that responds to the suffering of millions of climate calamities victims around the world.
More than 50,000 attendees are registered and expected to participate at COP27’s Blue Zone and thousands of others at the Green Zone. The Egyptian Presidency has designated several key thematic days that will include pledging opportunities, discussions, roundtables, and side events. The thematic days are part of efforts to advance climate action that can address existing implementation bottlenecks and gaps and deepen engagement with youth, women, civil society, and indigenous people.
The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit will start tomorrow and runs for two days, bringing all participating heads of state and government. Following the summit’s inauguration, several roundtables led and attended by tens of world leaders will be held to focus on six key topics: Just Transitions, Food Security, Innovative Finance for Climate and Development, Investing in the Future of Energy, Water Security, and Climate Change and The Sustainability of Vulnerable Communities