Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt

Special Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt
1 / 6
Special Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt
2 / 6
A general view shows pollution hovering over Egypt's Nile river and the University bridge in Cairo. (AFP file photo)
Special Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt
3 / 6
Women from Kenya's Masai community take part in a Global Climate Strike on March 25, 2022 to demand climate reparations and action from world leaders and take genuine climate action. (AFP)
Special Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt
4 / 6
People commute along a street amid smoggy conditions in New Delhi, India, on Dec. 23, 2021. (AFP)
Special Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt
5 / 6
People wearing face masks walk on an overpass on a foggy and polluted day in Beijing, China, on Nov. 6, 2021. (AFP)
Special Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt
6 / 6
A photo taken on August 14, 2022 shows shells at the dried-up bed of Lake Vekeri near Debrecen, eastern Hungary, amid a global climate change. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 26 August 2022

Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt

Mitigation and adaptation to top UN Climate Change Conference agenda in Egypt
  • Egypt prepares to host COP27 in November as extreme weather events and multiple crises buffet the planet 
  • Sharm El-Sheikh summit to focus on Paris Agreement implementation, the presidency team tells Arab News

DUBAI: Summer of 2022 has seen a rash of wildfires, flash flooding, dust storms, and record high temperatures across the planet, which scientists believe are only the latest expressions of man-made climate change.

Experts warn that such extreme weather events will grow in frequency and severity unless the world acts decisively to cut greenhouse gas emissions and ensures that temperatures do not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

With the transition to renewable energy sources appearing to stall in recent months, the hope is that the 27th UN Climate Change Conference, to be held in Egypt in November, will, somehow or other, get the climate agenda back on track.

There is an expectation ahead of each COP summit that the host country will emphasize the needs, priorities, and circumstances of its own geographic and cultural space. This year it is the turn of Africa and the Middle East.

“This is a great opportunity for Africa and the MENA region to raise awareness of their challenges and the solutions needed to tackle climate change,” Zitouni Ould-Dada, deputy director in the Climate and Environment Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, told Arab News.

 

 

“The Egyptian presidency has a great opportunity to convene and facilitate to help countries and other actors raise their ambition and take collective action for mitigation, adaptation and building resilience.”

Preparations for COP27 have given Egypt the added impetus to address its own climate challenges. According to the World Bank, mean annual temperatures in the North African state could rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius by 2050.

Cairo is considered one of the world’s most polluted cities, where industry, traffic congestion, and substandard waste management have led to poor air quality and associated health problems.




A camel-mounted tourism policeman in the Giza Plateau silhouettes against the pollution smog covering the city of Cairo. (AFP file)

Egypt’s Ministry of Health says around 2 million people per year on average seek medical treatment for respiratory problems related to poor air quality.

In honor of COP27, Egypt has transformed its Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, which will host the summit, into a sustainable green city, in part with the help of a $7 million grant from the Global Environment Facility.

Dubbed the Sharm Green City Project, the site has utilized low-carbon technologies, implemented environmental protection policies, and introduced improved waste management practices.




An aerial view of residential lots and luxury hotels in the Hadaba district of Sharm el-Sheikh at the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula. (AFP file)

As part of its wider greening agenda, Egypt also recently announced a new partnership with the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company for the production of green hydrogen.

“Entering the Green Hydrogen Alliance is a good opportunity for Egypt to invest in its clean energy,” Mahmoud Mohieldin, a World Bank Group senior vice president and the UN climate change high-level champion for Egypt, told an event at the American University of Cairo in June.

Egypt has lofty ambitions to build on the many carbon-cutting pledges made by participating nations at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, last year. Delegates will be presented with the latest findings on climate change and the measures needed to prevent it.




Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi presents his national statement during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on Nov.1, 2021. (AFP) 

“COP27 witnesses the release of at least two very important chapters in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that provides the international community with the most recent data-based available science on climate change in terms of impact as well as what needs to be done in terms of solutions,” a spokesperson from the COP27 presidency team told Arab News from Cairo.

“We had two reports that were issued, one in February and the second one in April, portraying a very bleak picture about where we are now, about the fact that we are so off track on what needs to be done, and also explaining in detail the adverse impact of climate change on almost every sector and every region in the world.

“It is a sobering moment where we are all converging around scientifically established facts that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing, and there is still so much that needs to be done at scale and on a very timely basis.”

FASTFACTS

COP27 will be held in Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, Nov. 7-18.

Organizers say this year’s summit will focus on mitigation, adaptation, and finance.

A lot has changed since COP26. The war in Ukraine led to a Western embargo on Russian oil and gas, causing a spike in global energy prices. In many countries, still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, this has prompted a cost-of-living crisis.

In response to price rises, energy-hungry governments have called on oil and gas producers to boost their output, while others have switched back to the cheaper but far dirtier alternative of coal, setting back the transition to green renewables.

“For this reason, it is crucial that at COP27 we keep reiterating the message that we need continued strength and commitment to the climate agenda,” the COP27 presidency spokesperson said. “The climate response cannot be deprioritized, rescheduled, or put on pause until we do the rest of the firefighting.”

 

 

Indeed, organizers say this is the year when governments must move their climate mitigation, adaptation, and financing plans from the negotiating table to real-world application.

“Following progress at COP26 in Glasgow, international efforts enter a critical new phase as we look to COP27 in Egypt: Implementation of the Paris Agreement at the national level,” the spokesperson said.

“It is the implementation COP, the first COP where nations must show how they will, through legislation, policies, and programs, and throughout all jurisdictions and sectors, begin putting the Paris Agreement to work in their home countries.

“COP27 is about supporting all segments of society, including non-party observers, under the banner of ‘inclusive multilateralism’ to drive significantly more climate action. We have spent almost six years negotiating the operational rule book of the Paris Agreement from 2015 and have concluded most of the details.




Eleven days of UN talks in Paris in 2015 have failed to achieve agreement on a climate pact aimed at sparing future generations from worsening drought, flood, storms and rising seas. (AFP file)

“Now is the time when we translate what is being agreed at negotiation tables and conference venues into concrete deliverables on the ground that have preferably a quick impact on the livelihoods of people and that can mitigate the impact and make the ambitions of these deliverables a reality.”

That said, the pressure is on for Egypt and COP27 organizers following a “disappointing” fortnight of talks at the 56th session of the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June.

Delegates representing the world’s developing countries said they were the ones paying the price for climate change brought about by hundreds of years of emissions released by industrialized nations.




Signing of the COP 27 Host Country Agreement by Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa on June 8, 2022 during the Bonn Climate Change Conference. (UN Climate Change photo)

They said their call for a funding facility bankrolled by wealthy nations, to help them cope with the damage caused by extreme weather events and rising sea levels, was blocked by the EU.

“Africa has played almost no role in global warming, yet climate change is having a disproportionate impact, with droughts, flooding, and natural disasters driving famine, instability, and conflict,” Ghada Fathi Waly, director-general of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, told delegates at the Aswan Forum in Cairo in June.




Women from Kenya's Masai community take part in a Global Climate Strike on March 25, 2022 to demand climate reparations and action from world leaders and take genuine climate action. (AFP)

It is hoped that this imbalance can be addressed at COP27. If recent climate research has taught world leaders anything, it is that all nations — whether rich or poor — will pay a far greater price if they fail to collectively take action now.

“The IPCC has warned about the urgency of climate change and the need to take climate action,” Ould-Dada told Arab News. “The costs of inaction would be higher than the costs of action.”

 

The Coptic miracle
How Egypt's historic Christian church survived and thrived

Enter


keywords

 


Hundreds protest in Turkey in support of Iranian women

Hundreds protest in Turkey in support of Iranian women
Updated 02 October 2022

Hundreds protest in Turkey in support of Iranian women

Hundreds protest in Turkey in support of Iranian women
  • In Istanbul, many Iranians were among the hundreds of people who chanted slogans against the Tehran regime and in support of Iranian women
  • Women held red roses, Iranian flags and signs bearing the words “women, life, freedom”

ISTANBUL: Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Turkey on Sunday to condemn Iran’s crackdown on women-led demonstrations sparked by a young woman’s death after her arrest by the country’s notorious morality police.
In Istanbul, many Iranians were among the hundreds of people who chanted slogans against the Tehran regime and in support of Iranian women.
Women held red roses, Iranian flags and signs bearing the words “women, life, freedom,” the battle cry of the protest movement that has rocked Iran and was triggered last month by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd.
In Diyarbakir, a southeastern city with a majority Kurdish population, around 200 people gathered brandishing photographs of Iranian women killed in the crackdown and a large banner with the slogan “women, life, freedom” in Kurdish, an AFP correspondent reported.
A demonstration in solidarity with Iranian women attended by hundreds of people was also held in the western city of Izmir on Saturday evening, according to images published on social media and verified by AFP.
At least 92 people have been killed in Iran since the start of the protests two weeks ago, Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights said on Sunday.


Tehran seals border with Pakistan amid deadly crackdown in neighboring Iranian city

Tehran seals border with Pakistan amid deadly crackdown in neighboring Iranian city
Updated 02 October 2022

Tehran seals border with Pakistan amid deadly crackdown in neighboring Iranian city

Tehran seals border with Pakistan amid deadly crackdown in neighboring Iranian city
  • Iranian state media say five IRGC and Basiji personnel killed in Zahedan
  • Local journalists and activists estimate at least 50 protesters killed by security forces

QUETTA: Iran sealed a main crossing point with Pakistan on Sunday amid deadly unrest and a crackdown on protesters in Zahedan, a southeastern Iranian city near the border.

Violence broke out in the capital of the Iranian Sistan and Balochistan province during Friday prayers, after worshipers in the city’s Makki Mosque called for a protest over the rape of a 15-year-old girl, allegedly by a local military commander.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps provincial intelligence chief Ali Mousavi was shot during the clashes on Friday and pronounced dead at a hospital.

The killing was claimed by the Jaish Al-Adl militant group, which says it is fighting for the independence of Sistan and Balochistan, and greater rights for Baloch people, who are the main ethnic group in the province.

A Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency official told Arab News the border crossing in Taftan, about 90 km from Zahedan, was sealed off by Iranian authorities.

“They are not allowing departure movement from Pakistan into Iran,” he said on condition of anonymity.

“On Saturday, they allowed 780 people, including foreigners who wanted to cross into Pakistan, but on Sunday they completely halted all kinds of trade and pedestrian movement.”

Sardarzada Umair Muhammad Hassani, former adviser to the chief minister of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, said the border closure would affect Iran itself, as food supplies to Iran pass through Pakistan.

“The border closure decision by Iranian forces wasn’t fair in the better interest of Iran,” he told Arab News, adding that he had backtracked on his earlier opinion that Pakistani-Iranian ties should be enhanced, as the killings in Zahedan have affected the Baloch community on the Pakistani side.

“Baloch tribes have been living on both sides of the border,” Hassani said. “The recent brutality toward the people of Zahedan by the Iranian forces has hurt the sentiments and emotions of the Baloch.”

Footage emerging from the city showed people carrying dead and wounded protesters amid heavy gunfire. The administration of Sistan and Balochistan said 19 people have been killed in the clashes, but journalists in the province and activists estimate the number of deaths to be at least 50, as clashes continue.

“According to local media in Zahedan, the death toll has risen to 50, because the majority of the injured who were shot by Iranian forces were being treated in their homes instead of hospitals due to fear of arrest by the Iranian forces,” Asif Burhanzai, a journalist in Taftan, told Arab News.

The Baloch Activists Campaign said at least 58 people have died and 270 have been wounded.

Communication services were down in Zahedan and surrounding areas over the weekend. On Sunday, mobile networks were partially restored, but access to the internet remained blocked.

Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday that the number of personnel from the IRGC and its volunteer Basiji force killed in Zahedan had risen to five.

Their deaths, and that of the provincial IRGC intelligence chief, represent a major escalation in the antigovernment demonstrations that began in mid-September, triggered by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the Iranian morality police.

The IRGC’s chief, Gen. Hossein Salami, pledged revenge for the killing of its forces.

“We consider revenge for the blood of the IRGC and Basiji martyrs and the people who were victims of the Black Friday crime in Zahedan to be on our agenda,” he said, as quoted by Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

Ongoing countrywide demonstrations have been the largest manifestation of dissent against the Iranian government in over a decade.

Rallies have spread to all of Iran’s 31 provinces, with ethnic and religious minorities joining in, despite a violent response from authorities.

With the deaths in Sistan and Balochistan, the number of those killed in the protests is likely to have crossed 100.

On Friday, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights organization estimated the number of dead to be at least 83. Many more have been wounded and thousands arrested.


Yemeni presidential council discusses with UN envoy extension of truce

Yemeni presidential council discusses with UN envoy extension of truce
Updated 02 October 2022

Yemeni presidential council discusses with UN envoy extension of truce

Yemeni presidential council discusses with UN envoy extension of truce

DUBAI: The Chairman of the Yemeni Presidential Council has met on Sunday the United Nation’s ambassador to Yemen to discuss the extension of the UN-brokered truce.  

The council, led by chairman Rashad al-Alimi, said the Houthi positions are hostile to peace efforts. 

Al-Alimi renewed calls for doubling international pressure on the Houthis. 

The British Ambassador to Yemen said we encourage the Houthis to work with the UN to extend the armistice. 


Israeli security forces dismantle cell linked to Daesh

Israeli security forces dismantle cell linked to Daesh
Updated 02 October 2022

Israeli security forces dismantle cell linked to Daesh

Israeli security forces dismantle cell linked to Daesh
  • Israeli security said the individuals had “met to prepare attacks”

JERUSALEM: Israel’s internal security agency said Sunday it dismantled in the north of the country a cell linked to Daesh, whose alleged sympathizers staged deadly attacks earlier this year.
“Six residents of Nazareth were arrested several weeks ago and interrogated by the Shin Bet on suspicion of seeking to carry out terrorist activities on behalf of (Daesh) inside Israel,” the agency said in a statement.
It added that the individuals had “met to prepare attacks.”
The Shin Bet agency said the probe “highlights the influence of Daesh in Israel.”
In March, four people were killed when a convicted Daesh sympathizer went on a stabbing and car-ramming rampage in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.
Days later, two policemen were shot dead and several others wounded in the northern Israeli city of Hadera, in an attack that was later claimed by the jihadist group.
The Beersheba and Hadera attacks renewed long-standing concern in Israel about Daesh efforts to recruit Arab citizens, who account for roughly a fifth of the Israeli population.


Kuwait Crown Prince accepts cabinet resignation

Kuwait Crown Prince accepts cabinet resignation
Updated 02 October 2022

Kuwait Crown Prince accepts cabinet resignation

Kuwait Crown Prince accepts cabinet resignation

DUBAI: A Kuwaiti Emiri decree accepted the government’s resignation, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported on Sunday. 

The Emir has asked the government to stay on in a caretaker capacity, the statement on KUNA added. 

Kuwait’s government submitted its resignation on Sunday, state news agency (KUNA) reported, following a parliamentary election in the country.

Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received the government’s letter of resignation from Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah, KUNA reported.