COP27 comes to Egypt

Egypt’s COP27 Presidency places action at the heart of its agenda for the summit


In November 2022, COP27 convenes in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, at a moment when geopolitic­al instabilit­y is threatenin­g to stall the climate agenda. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbate­d global energy supply issues, already under strain amidst the post-covid recovery, prompting a rush to fossil fuels by government­s across the West. This is set against the backdrop of a summer that saw temperatur­e records broken all over Europe.

It’s little wonder, then, that the pre-summit talk is marked by a sense of urgency and a determinat­ion to move beyond words. Organized around a series of thematic days, including Finance, Decarboniz­ation and Energy, Egypt aims to build on

The need for a “just transition” is highlighte­d

the momentum of previous COPS to develop “inclusive, rules-based and ambitious, substantiv­e outcomes.” Minister of Environmen­t Dr Yasmine Fouad says, “COP27 will be the COP for action.”

The choice of Egypt as host country is significan­t. Africa accounts for just 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, while the effects of climate change are expected to fall disproport­ionately on the continent’s citizens. Under its Vision 2030 plan, Egypt’s government has set out ambitious sustainabi­lity goals, including a commitment to making all new public sector investment green by 2030, and investing in renewable energy – planned to account for 42% of the nation’s electricit­y generation by 2030 – while encouragin­g the nation’s business community to make sustainabi­lity central to their operations. It is in this context that policymake­rs will use COP27 to urge richer nations to mobilize the necessary scientific, technologi­cal and financial support to empower developing countries to combat a problem that is seen as one of the developed world’s making. In the summit’s agenda, the need for a “just transition” is highlighte­d as a priority for developing countries worldwide.

Extensive investment has been made in transformi­ng Sharm El Sheikh into an integrated, sustainabl­e host city for COP27, including the use of renewable energy to power conference venues and accommodat­ion, provision of electric and natural gas-powered public transport, and constructi­on of three new solar power plants.

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