Egypt’s COP27 Presidency calls on countries to set aside differences over Ukraine war

“Put the political differences aside and come together to something that no country in the world disagrees on the need to move forward on,” Ambassador Wael Abul-Magd, special representatives of president-designate for COP27, said in a virtual press briefing on Wednesday to showcase Egypt’s vision for the conference that is set to be held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November.

Abul-Magd said Egypt’s vision to advance climate action at COP27 involves collaboration between governments, private sector, civil society, and other stakeholders to focuses on the issues of adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage, and climate finance.

He warned that the war in Europe would surely have an impact on the global effort to combat climate change, including by affecting energy and food prices and through the animosity that the military conflict is causing.

“We, as incoming presidency and hopefully, responsible diplomats, ask everyone to rise to the occasion and to show leadership,” Abul-Magd said, warning against using this unfolding geopolitical situation as a pretext for backsliding on climate pledges.

The ambassador also noted that COP27 is taking place amid two crucial problems – a slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic on a global level and mounting tensions between the US and China who are two major players in climate action.

“We call on them to rise to the occasion and hopefully be able to find a way to move forward,” Abul-Magd stated in reference to the two major economic super powers.

Egypt has said it is hopes to turn climate pledges into actions on the ground during COP27, speak for Africa’s climate aspirations, and push countries to fulfil their climate finance pledges.

Mitigation and adaptation

Abul-Magd stressed that Egypt’s vision for COP27 in terms of mitigation focuses on the need to cut emissions dramatically, limit global warming to 1.5°C, and keep this goal within reach.

The ambassador called for encouraging countries to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement to ensure finding a pathway to achieve the 1.5°C objective.

Moreover, Abul-Magd called for expediting and expanding the model of Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which was first signed at COP26 in Glasgow last November to support South Africa’s decarbonisation efforts.

“We’ve been telephoning and communicating with lots of countries, encouraging everyone to update their NDCs to show more ambition,” Abul-Magd stated, adding that around 18 countries have already updated their NDCs, while others made promises to do the same.”