Egypt’s COP27: President Designate Calls for Urgent Action Against Climate Injustice

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By Shabbir Hussain

ISLAMABAD, (Gabon), Aug 29 (Diplomatic Star):  COP27 President Designate and Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry Monday called for urgent action against Climate Injustice in his opening address at Africa Climate Week 2022 (ACW 2022) in Libreville, Gabon.

This high-level gathering is set to discuss the impact of climate change on Africa and draw attention to the challenges the continent is facing. It will also identify opportunities for urgent action to reduce emissions, enhance resilience and help address loss and damage.

The climate week was inaugurated by H.E. President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, and attended by climate Ministers and High Level Envoys from across Africa. Also in attendance were officials from relevant United Nations agencies and bodies, as well as other multilateral agencies.

ACW2022 will run through September 2nd and is a critical African milestone in the lead-up to COP27 at Sharm El Sheikh in November, said a press released received here.

“Africa is undoubtedly the continent of promising opportunities. Yet, and despite contributing less than 4 per cent of global emissions, we are now confronted with the impacts of climate change that are already curtailing our efforts for sustainable growth and testing the resilience of our communities. These impacts have left almost no region in Africa unaffected, making the continent one of the most devastated by the impacts of climate change, according to the latest IPCC reports,” Shoukry said.

“Africa is obliged, with its already limited financial means and scant level of support, to spend around 2-3% of its GDP per annum to adapt to these impacts; a disproportionate responsibility that cannot be described as anything other than “Climate Injustice”.

African Governments, and all other African voices, from civil society, youth, women groups, farmers, workers, academia, and the thriving African private sector, should all continue to call for climate justice based on equity and the availability of means of implementation, and guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” Shoukry added.

“We will spare no effort to assist parties in engaging in a frank, constructive and dynamic dialogue that addresses loss and damage, including the central issue of new and additional finance dedicated thereto,” highlighted the Foreign Minister of Egypt and the incoming COP President.

Shoukry reiterated the Egyptian Presidency’s push for a transformative adaptation agenda, and urged all parties, including in Africa, to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to demonstrate greater ambition moving forward. As the incoming Presidency of COP27, Egypt is committed to ensure sustained and reliable support for African countries.

Access to appropriate climate finance is and will remain a key pillar and an advanced priority for Africa in enabling the continent to meaningfully contribute to the global climate response.

Acting UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw said: “No country, rich or poor, is immune to drought, floods, wildfires, land loss, biodiversity degradation or pollution. Africa has long been portrayed as a region of problems. And there is no possible denial that Africa is facing massive climate challenges.

However, it’s about time that Africa’s major contributions to the global challenges be also recognized. This Climate Week is about the power of partnerships. No country, rich or poor, can fix climate change alone. We need to tap the potential that comes when the right people are together in the room.”

ACW 2022, hosted in Gabon and organized in collaboration with UNFCCC, convenes more than 1,000 key stakeholders from Africa to discuss risk and key priorities and collaborate towards opportunity, as well as develop international, continental and regional partnerships with regard to climate action.

COP27 Presidency representatives were part of ACW 2022’s official agenda with two Presidency-led events; a panel entitled “What does COP27 mean for Africa – The Presidency’s Perspective” and a multi stakeholders discussion on “African Pathways to Just Transition”, H.E. Ambassador Wael Aboul Magd, the Special Representative of the COP President designate, will explain the incoming Presidency’s views on the state of climate response by and for Africa, and the centrality of just, managed and financed transition.

The climate week will also witness numerous engagements by Egypt’s HL Climate Champion, Dr Mahmoud Mohie El Din, and the COP President designate’s youth envoy, Omnia El Omrani.