“Due to the geopolitical situation, the issue of climate change is receding” on the international scene, Egyptian Ambassador Mohamed Nasr said in a recent interview with AFP on the sidelines of interim climate negotiations in Bonn.
Egypt will hold the presidency of the UN climate conference COP27 which will take place in November in Sharm el-Sheikh. But since COP26 in Glasgow, where states had pledged to strengthen their climate ambition, Russia has invaded Ukraine, causing a global economic, energy and food crisis. And the hope of maintaining momentum for climate action is dwindling.
“We are facing an immense challenge”, recognizes Mohamed Nasr.
“It’s time to face reality. We have planned and planned again”, but now the question must be: “is it giving results on the ground or not”?
The science is crystal clear, humans are responsible for global warming and its increasingly devastating impacts.
But despite the commitments of the signatories of the Paris agreement to limit this warming to well below 2°C compared to the pre-industrial era, if possible 1.5°C, the actions are far from being at the height of promises. Whether in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions or helping the most vulnerable countries.
The broken promise of rich countries to increase to 100 billion dollars per year in 2020 aid to poor countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts, will undoubtedly once again be one of the subjects of contention. of this COP with the “African flavor”.
– Losses and damages –
Another explosive issue is that of the “losses and damage” already suffered by the poorest countries, which are also demanding funding but have only obtained a “dialogue” until 2024.
“It’s not what we were hoping for,” Nasr notes.
“We must give assurances to developing countries that their priorities are taken into account at the same level” as the objective of reducing emissions, he insists, also calling for an association of development banks and capital private sector to remove barriers to investment.
“We cannot pursue a business-as-usual scenario in terms of finance.”
Egypt will present in the coming weeks a new climate plan with “ambitious objectives”, assures Mohamed Nasr. But in a context of economic crisis, “as in the majority of developing countries, the implementation” of the strategy depends on funding.
In recent years, the COPs, attended by thousands of delegates, representatives of nearly 200 countries, NGOs and other observers, have been the scene of major street demonstrations, led in particular by young people from all over the world.
Such gatherings will be allowed around the conference in Egypt, where demonstrations are banned, but the organizers will have to inform and “coordinate with the authorities”, says the ambassador.
As for the decision-makers expected on the shores of the Red Sea in the autumn, they know what they have to do after three decades of climate negotiations: “They must facilitate the task of the presidency and of each of them, and start producing results”.