President El-Sisi’s Speech at the High-Level Session of Petersberg Climate Dialogue
Monday، 18 July 2022 - 10:30 PM
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”
Your Excellency, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, and commend Germany’s leading role in addressing climate change and dealing with its impact. This demonstrates a political commitment, at the highest level, to supporting international climate action and enhancing efforts toward the just transition to the environmentally-friendly green economy.
The best evidence is our meeting today. The “Petersberg Dialogue” has, over the past years, become one of the significant stations before convening the Climate Change Conference of the Parties. This is, as it offers a chance for consultations and coordination among a large group of active countries in efforts to combat climate change and mobilize international consensus, at the political level, on various issues, which are being negotiated during the conferences of the parties.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Egypt is hosting the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a world characterized by successive challenges, primarily the current global energy crisis and the food crisis from which many developing countries are suffering. 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. 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.
Therefore, I would like to focus in my speech today on several points that Egypt deems important as President of the next conference and within the framework of our efforts in this regard:
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.
Therefore, a major aspect of the Egyptian presidency’s effort for the Conference of Parties is currently focused on the global climate summit to be turning point in the field of international climate action to maintain international momentum and affirm the commitment of all governmental and non-governmental parties to turn their promises and pledges to actual implementation on the ground so as to ensure that the process of transition to a low-emission economy is capable to deal with and adapt to the negative effects of climate change and contribute to enhancing the size, quality and mechanisms of climate financing that is available to developing countries, which is the most important aspect and cornerstone, to empower those countries to play their role within this global effort.
To achieve this vision, Egypt counts on the support of all parties and their contributions to a climate of trust that shall enable us to achieve the results aspired to by our peoples.
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. 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, as well as 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.
Our African continent lies in 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 to the continent’s countries that 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.
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 that the African countries have already made great strides in this direction, given the vast areas of forests they have and 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.
Egypt has rushed 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 green transformation brings to achieve economic development in many vital sectors.
For example, Egypt is taking serious steps to raise the percentage 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 to 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.
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.
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.
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.
In this context, I call on all countries to update their Nationally Determined Contributions, raise the ambition of the commitments included therein, before and during the Sharm el-Sheikh conference.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to emphasize that Egypt will spare no effort to make the World Climate Summit a success by providing conducive and inclusive conditions for all parties, including states, international organizations, civil society and others to make real progress on the governmental negotiating track, which is the main determinant of international climate policies. On this track, we 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.