Egypt, US launch Working Group on Climate Change

Sami Hegazi
6 Min Read

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi held the first meeting of the Egyptian-American Working Group on Climate Change with US Presidential Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry on Monday.

The meeting was held in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Environment Yasmin Fouad, and US Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen.

Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said the president affirmed that the meeting of the working group was a result of the latest round of strategic dialogue between Egypt and the US.

Furthermore, the president expressed his aspiration to continue consultations with the American side on issues of climate change in the coming period within the framework of the partnership between the two countries and in preparation for the United Nations’ Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 27) that will be held in Sharm El-Sheik in November.

He also stressed that Egypt will adopt a comprehensive and neutral approach during its presidency of the summit and that it will take into consideration the priorities and positions of all parties in order to ensure that the summit will produce positive results.

Al-Sisi also highlighted that these positive results would entail agreeing to reduce emissions, adapt to the negative effects of climate change, and mobilise climate finance for developing countries.

For his part, Kerry expressed the American side’s confidence in Egypt’s leadership in the upcoming conference and its keenness to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in this regard in order to advance international efforts to confront climate change.

The US envoy also praised President Al-Sisi’s seriousness towards international climate action and fostering a green transformation.

This was reflected in Egypt’s efforts at the domestic level as well as at the international level through the participation of the president in the Summit of Heads of State and Government on the side-lines of the COP 26 in Glasgow last year, his participation in the ‘One Ocean Conference’ that was held in the French city of Brest, and his chairmanship of the round table on climate change during the recent African-European Summit in Brussels.

Kerry stressed the importance of these efforts in expressing the concerns of developing countries, especially African countries, with regard to enhancing their climate work.

Additionally, Rady said that the meeting witnessed discussions on ways to strengthen cooperation between the two friendly countries through the participation of American companies and institutions in Egypt’s efforts to turn it into an energy hub in the region and the ambitious goals it has adopted in this field.

At the forefront of these efforts are green hydrogen production, solar and wind energy, low-carbon transportation, and electricity projects.

The president also said that Egypt has taken effective steps to create a climate conducive to investments in these areas — whether by issuing and amending the required laws and legislation or by providing innovative financing mechanisms for green projects, such as the green bonds recently introduced by Egypt, according to Rady.

Earlier on Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry — the President-Designate of the COP 27 — and Kerry launched the Egyptian-American Working Group on Climate.

This was announced by Shoukry during a press briefing with the US envoy at the end of talks held on Monday morning at the ministry.

He added that the issue of climate change is one of the common priorities of Egypt and the US, especially with Egypt’s readiness to host the COP 27 and to lead international efforts to confront climate change in the coming period.

In a joint press release, Shoukry and Kerry revealed that Egypt and the US recognise the urgency of the challenge posed by climate change and the importance of accelerating global efforts on all aspects of the climate change agenda.

In that regard, they welcomed the significant progress achieved in the COP 26, including the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact, completion of the Paris rulebook, and the many announcements of ambitious commitments and initiatives by both parties and other actors.

The two sides also emphasised the importance of mobilising climate finance from all sources towards achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Accords and welcomed the increased pledges made by many developed countries, especially the ‘Climate Finance Delivery Plan: Meeting the $100bn Goal’ and the collective actions contained therein.

Furthermore, the US expressed its confidence in Egypt as the incoming president of the COP 27. 

Additionally, Egypt expressed its appreciation for the leadership demonstrated by the US in 2021 with regard to mobilising climate finance and increasing mitigation ambition and looks forward to the US continuing to play such a role in the climate arena in 2022 and beyond.

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