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

 


Turkiye slams West for security warnings ‘harming’ tourism

Turkiye slams West for security warnings ‘harming’ tourism
Updated 9 sec ago

Turkiye slams West for security warnings ‘harming’ tourism

Turkiye slams West for security warnings ‘harming’ tourism
ANKARA: Turkiye on Thursday slammed a group of Western countries that temporarily closed down their consulates in Istanbul over security concerns, accusing them of waging “psychological warfare” and attempting to wreck Turkiye’s tourism industry.
Germany, the Netherlands and Britain were among countries that shut down their consulates in the city of around 16 million people this week. The German Embassy cited the risk of possible retaliatory attacks following Qur’an-burning incidents in some European countries. The United States and other countries issued travel warnings urging citizens to exercise vigilance.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the consulate closures and travel warnings were part of a Western plot to prevent a rebound in Turkiye’s tourism sector following the coronavirus pandemic.
“On a day when we declared our aim of (attracting) 60 million tourists, at a time when 51.5 million tourists arrived and we obtained $46 billion in tourism revenue, they were on the verge of starting a new psychological warfare (against) Turkiye,” said Soylu, who is known for his anti-Western rhetoric.
The minister said Turkiye had conducted as many as 60 operations against the Daesh group so far this year and detained 95 people. Last year, close to 2,000 Daesh suspects were detained in more than 1,000 operations against the group, he said.
Earlier this week, the Interior Ministry said Turkish authorities had detained a number of suspects following a warning from a “friendly country,” but hadn’t found any weapons, ammunition or sign of a planned act of violence.
In November, a bombing on Istanbul’s bustling Istiklal Avenue, located in the heart of the city and near a number of foreign consulates, killed six people and wounded several others. Turkish authorities blamed the attack on Kurdish militants.
Last weekend, Turkiye’s foreign ministry issued a travel warning for European countries due to anti-Turkish demonstrations and what it described as Islamophobia. The warning followed demonstrations the week before outside the Turkish Embassy in Sweden, where an anti-Islam activist burned the Qur’an and pro-Kurdish groups protested against Turkiye.
In a related development, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Norway’s ambassador to ask for a protest planned for Friday in the Scandinavian country to be prevented because there would be an “attack” on the Qur’an during the event, Turkiye’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported Thursday.
Norwegian newspaper VG said a group called Stop Islamization of Norway planned to burn the Qur’an outside the Turkish Embassy in Oslo on Friday.
The group’s leader, Lars Thorsen, told VG that he planned to carry out his protest “in the context of Turkiye’s intolerance of Western values of freedom.”
Recent demonstrations in Europe where activists desecrated Islam’s holy book have infuriated Muslims in Turkiye and elsewhere.
Anadolu said the Norwegian ambassador was told that the planned action would constitute a “hate crime” that should not be allowed.

Iranian film director Jafar Panahi starts hunger strike in prison — rights group

Iranian film director Jafar Panahi starts hunger strike in prison — rights group
Updated 3 min 14 sec ago

Iranian film director Jafar Panahi starts hunger strike in prison — rights group

Iranian film director Jafar Panahi starts hunger strike in prison — rights group
DUBAI: Iranian film director Jafar Panahi has started a hunger strike in prison to protest against authorities’ refusal to release him temporarily on bail pending retrial, the activist HRANA news agency reported on Thursday.
Panahi was detained in July and told he would serve a six-year prison sentence originally issued by a Tehran court in 2010, amid a stepped-up crackdown on dissent in the Islamic Republic.
“According to the law, I should have been released on bail after my request for retrial was accepted but my case has been delayed for more than 100 days,” the 62-year-old film director wrote in a letter, according to HRANA.
“This is in stark contrast with the speedy trials of innocent youth which are brought to the gallows 30 days after their arrest,” added the director, who won the Cannes Film Festival’s Camera d’Or prize for his 1995 movie “White Balloon.”
There was no immediate reaction to the HRANA report from Iranian authorities on state media.
Iran’s judiciary said in July Panahi would serve a six-year sentence over charges of “propaganda against the system” and inciting opposition protests after the 2009 election that led to months of political turmoil.
Since then, nationwide protests sparked by the death in police custody of Kurdish Iranian young woman Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16 2022 have represented one of the toughest challenges to the Islamic Republic.
At least four people have been hanged since the demonstrations started, according to the judiciary. Iran has accused foreign enemies of fomenting the unrest.
Panahi has won several international awards, including the 2015 Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear for his film “Taxi.”

Netanyahu in Paris to press Macron on Iran

Netanyahu in Paris to press Macron on Iran
Updated 02 February 2023

Netanyahu in Paris to press Macron on Iran

Netanyahu in Paris to press Macron on Iran
  • The pair would discuss “the international effort to stop the Iranian nuclear program”
  • Israel is considering sending military aid to Ukraine

PARIS: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday, hoping to gain support against Iran’s nuclear program but shadowed by an upsurge of violence in the region.
Israel’s Paris embassy said the pair would discuss “the international effort to stop the Iranian nuclear program.”
Netanyahu hopes that Iran’s role supplying drones to Russian invaders in Ukraine as well as the crackdown on protests at home will prompt Western allies to drop any pursuit of a revival of the 2015 deal over its atomic drive.
The prime minister has also said Israel is considering sending military aid to Ukraine, apparently dropping its previously more neutral stance over the conflict.
France agrees that “firmness” is needed in dealings with Iran, a diplomatic source told AFP, calling its nuclear program “dangerous” and highlighting its role in the Ukraine war.
Tehran also holds several foreign nationals who Western governments see as political hostages.
But Macron’s office said the French leader would “reiterate (to Netanyahu) the need for all sides to avoid measures likely to feed the cycle of violence” between Israelis and Palestinians — while offering “France’s solidarity with Israel in the face of terrorism.”
Netanyahu visits as Israelis and Palestinians exchanged rockets and missiles over Gaza, the latest violent episode as the conflict intensifies.
A week ago, seven were killed in a mass shooting by a Palestinian at a synagogue in annexed east Jerusalem — one day after an Israeli raid in the West Bank killed 10 Palestinians.
In France until Saturday, Netanyahu is also set to meet French business chiefs and leaders of the country’s Jewish community, the Israeli embassy said.


Iran says IAEA stance on nuclear work “incorrect” — Mizan

Iran says IAEA stance on nuclear work “incorrect” — Mizan
Updated 02 February 2023

Iran says IAEA stance on nuclear work “incorrect” — Mizan

Iran says IAEA stance on nuclear work “incorrect” — Mizan
  • Fordow is so sensitive that the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers banned enrichment there

DUBAI: Iran’s said on Thursday that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) latest position on Tehran’s nuclear work was not correct, according to Mizan news agency.
The UN nuclear watchdog criticized Iran on Wednesday for making an undeclared change to the interconnection between the two clusters of advanced machines enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity, close to weapons grade, at its Fordow plant.
“The IAEA inspector’s interpretation was incorrect but he reported it to the agency ... We immediately provided the explanation to the IAEA on the same day,” Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said.
In a confidential report to member states seen by Reuters, the IAEA did not say how the interconnection between the two cascades of IR-6 centrifuges had been changed except that “they were interconnected in a way that was substantially different from the mode of operation declared by Iran (to the IAEA).”
Fordow is so sensitive that the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers banned enrichment there. Since the United States pulled out of the deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions against Iran, the Islamic Republic has breached many of the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear activities.
Talks between Tehran and world powers to revive the pact have stalled since September.


France seizes Iran assault rifles, missiles heading to Yemen

France seizes Iran assault rifles, missiles heading to Yemen
Updated 02 February 2023

France seizes Iran assault rifles, missiles heading to Yemen

France seizes Iran assault rifles, missiles heading to Yemen
  • Announcement comes as Iran faces increasing Western pressure over its shipment of drones to arm Russia

YEMEN: French naval forces seized thousands of assault rifles, machine guns and anti-tank missiles earlier this month in the Gulf of Oman coming from Iran heading to Yemen’s Houthi militia, officials said Thursday, the latest such interdiction amid the Mideast nation’s long-running war.
While Iran did not immediately acknowledge the seizure, images of the weapons released by the US military’s Central Command showed them to be similar to others captured by American forces in other shipments tied back to Tehran.
The announcement comes as Iran faces increasing Western pressure over its shipment of drones to arm Russia during its war on Ukraine, as well as for its violent monthslong crackdown targeting protesters. Regional tensions also have heightened after a suspected Israeli drone attack on a military workshop in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Previous cycles of violence since the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers have seen the Islamic Republic launch retaliatory attacks at sea.
The seizure occurred Jan. 15 in the Gulf of Oman, a body of water that stretches from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf, through to the Arabian Sea and onto the Indian Ocean. US Central Command described the interdiction as happening “along routes historically used to traffic weapons unlawfully from Iran to Yemen.”
A United Nations resolution bans arms transfers to Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi militia, who took the country’s capital in late 2014 and have been at war with a Saudi-led coalition backing the country's internationally recognized government since March 2015.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the seizure, identifying the forces involved as elite French special forces. A regional official with knowledge of the interdiction, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to not having permission to speak publicly on the operation’s details, similarly identified the French as carrying out the seizure.
The French military did not respond to requests for comment about capturing the weapons. US Central Command did not immediately respond to questions about the seizure, nor did Iran’s mission to the United Nations. While France maintains a naval base in Abu Dhabi, it typically takes a quieter approach in the region while maintaining a diplomatic presence in Iran.
Iran long has denied arming the Houthis, though Western nations, UN experts and others have traced weaponry ranging from night-vision scopes, rifles and missiles back to Tehran. In November, the US Navy said it found 70 tons of a missile fuel component hidden among bags of fertilizer aboard a ship bound to Yemen from Iran. Houthi ballistic missile fire has targeted Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the past.
Images taken Wednesday by US Central Command, analyzed by the AP, showed a variety of weapons on board an unidentified ship apparently docked at a port. The weapons appeared to include Chinese-made Type 56 rifles, Russian-made Molot AKS20Us and PKM-pattern machine guns. All have appeared in other seizures of weapons attributed to Iran.
Central Command said the seizure included more than 3,000 rifles and 578,000 rounds of ammunition. The released images also showed 23 container-launched anti-tank missiles, which also have turned up in other shipments tied to Iran.
More than 150,000 people have been killed in Yemen during the fighting, including over 14,500 civilians.