Petersburg Dialogue is a critical turning point in facing climate change: Egypt’s FM

Sami Hegazi
8 Min Read

Minister of Foreign AffairsSameh Shoukry said on Monday that the Petersburg Climate Dialogue is a critical turning point in facing climate change.

In his speech during the opening session of the Petersburg Climate Dialogue that was held in Berlin and titled ‘The Road to the 27th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27)’, Shoukry praised all efforts being made to help countries cope with climate change and build bridges of trust in cooperation with the UN in this context.

“In the past, there was insufficient attention to the issue of climate and the fight against climate change, so if we do not fulfil our responsibility in the issue of climate today, we will sacrifice a lot,”he asserted.

The FM explained that he is seriously seeking to make the COP27 — which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh from 7 to 8 November — at the top of international concerns, especially in supporting developing countries in combating this vital and sensitive issue.

Shoukry also pointed out that the main task is to support all efforts and partners and bring them together in one place in order to solve this problem and approach it, explaining that he has witnessed a lot of supportive and encouraging efforts in many regional forums to mobilise political solidarity at all levels to support the matter.

Moreover, he stressed the need for all countries participating in the Petersburg Climate Dialogue to strive to bridge the gaps related to the issue of climate change, emphasising the need for concerted efforts to resolve combat the phenomenon.

Additionally, the FMasserted the need to take effective steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, noting that the report on adaptation to climate change indicated that the adaptation and financing gapsare growing, and that climate change is causing many difficulties and will lead to huge and irreversible losses.

“At the same time, we are dealing with a geopolitical situation that affects energy and food prices, and this comes at a time after the two-year recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences,” Shoukry said.

“And due to all these reasons, the matter has become even more urgent,” Shoukry said.

“Now we have to demonstrate our strong political commitment, which was determined when the ministerial meeting was held in Copenhagen, as well as during the MOCA meeting in Stockholm,” he added.

“At these two meetings, we expressed a clear political commitment by the ministers who attended the meeting and their awareness of the importance of implementing commitments and finding the appropriate balance in terms of building trust between all parties to deal with the various components associated with climate change.”

Furthermore, he pointed out that countries left the COP26 feeling frustrated that not enough had been done in this framework to provide compensation for losses and damages, stressing that the financial component of damages should be dealt with in a way that is acceptable to all.

Shoukry also stressed that Egypt seeks to achieve the best results during the COP27 in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, calling on all parties to implement their long-term strategy and make their indicators consistent with the Paris Agreement.

“The presidency of the COP27 comes from Africa, so we should talk about social protection for the groups most affected by climate change… the COP27 can be concluded with many results that pave the way for future achievements in this regard and concerning the issue of financing to counter climate change.”

He stressed that the participation of non-governmental parties is very important, so the agenda for the COP27 includes 11 days to discuss all the various issues, including finance, decarbonisation, energy, biodiversity, civil society empowerment, climate, and the environment, adding that all these meetings will be led by a number of Egyptian ministers and officials.

Additionally, the FMurged the need to work with renewable energy, noting that German FMAnnalenaBaerbock clarified the current conditions and the possibilitiesavailable for further work on dealing with the issue of climate change.

He pointed out that the discussions in the Petersburg Dialogue are very important, stressing the need for trust between member states and that everyone must bear the responsibility in a fair and equitable way, and affirming the need for everyone to be aware of the challenges facing the world, as well as the common and mutual obligations in order to meet the needs of the globe.

For her part, Baerbockcalled on the international community to exert joint and intensive efforts to combat human-caused global warming.

The minister from the Green Party said that“the climate crisis is now the biggest security problem for all the inhabitants of the Earth… The climate crisis does not stop at borders. So, the solutions do not have to stop at any limits… We don’t have 10, 20, or 30 years, no, we only have 8 years to halve emissions globally,” stressing that the goal is to be able to “contain the biggest security threat of this century” at the international level and jointly.

“Industrialized countries have a very special responsibility, because we are leaders in emissions,” she noted, calling on industrialised countries to assume their responsibilities and fulfil their promises.

“This means achieving the goal of $1 trillion to finance protective measures against climate change. It means doubling the co-financing of adaptation measures compared to 2019.”

In a related context, Baerbock stressed that Germany will not make any concessions in the field of climate protection due to the war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis, noting that Germany is intensifying its efforts to expand dependence on renewable energy sources.

Baerbockalso stated that Germany will have to reactivate coal-fired power plants “as an emergency reserve” for a short time, assuring, however, that this does not mean that Germany will abandon the goal of limiting the increase in global warming above 1.5°C.

“It also does not mean that we are slowing down in our quest to expand our renewable energy sources,” she added.

The Petersburg Climate Dialogue included the participation of ministers and representatives from about 40 countries for the purpose of agreeing on the future of fight against climate change.

Both German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi addressed the participants in the two-day meeting.

Germany and Egypt are jointly organising the forum, which also aims to set the course for the COP27.

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