CAIRO: A group of eco-conscious Egyptians organized a vigil last week at the Sawy Cultural Wheel, coinciding with the Climate Change Conference taking place in Copenhagen.
“Cairo wants a real deal, was the participants’ message.
“We want to show people in Egypt that there is a problem that we never considered before, which is climate change, and to ask them to keep an eye out on it and see what each and everyone can do, Aiman El-Sayed, one of the organizers of the vigil, said.
The vigil also aims at sending out a message to the world, El-Sayed explained. “We will take pictures of the event that will be published on 350.org to prove to the world that here in Egypt there are people who care for such an issue.
Another participant in the vigil said the event is held to tell the world that even though Egypt is a developing country, it is still capable of taking action.
“The youth are the most enthusiastic group that wants to take action, it is worth directing ourselves to events that help our world be a better place, Moustafa Hussein, one of the organizers of the event, said.
The Kyoto Protocol signed in 1997 proved that a new agreement is in need, which makes Cop 15, the United Nations Convention for Climate Change, a crucial conference. For the world, China replaced the US as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
While Egypt is not a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, it still recognizes the vulnerability to climate change in vital areas like the Nile Delta which is estimated to be fully submerged in 2100, organizers said.
The rise in sea level threatens the country’s long coastal stretch on the Mediterranean and the red sea with major damage to the ecosystem.
“We do not want our future generation to live on salty water, said Sarah El Sayed, one of the vigil’s participants.
350.org is an international movement dedicated to raise awareness about the effects of global warming and a platform to discuss solutions to the mortal problem. The number 350 refers to CO2 parts per million in the earth’s atmosphere that scientists have identified as the safe limit for humans to continue life on earth.