Poor nations should not be left behind in global fight against climate change, Cairo says

Egypt and Germany call for support for developing countries during Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Germany's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin. AFP
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Climate change negotiations do not need to be a zero-sum game between developed and developing countries, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday.

As Egypt prepares to host the Cop27 climate change conference in November, a delegation led by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi attended the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin.

High on the agenda was climate financing and the disparity in wealth resulting in poor countries being unable to effectively introduce policies to boost sustainability.

During his speech at Monday's opening ceremony, Mr El Sisi highlighted the dire effects of climate change felt by many African countries, many of which are among the world’s poorest nations.

On Tuesday, Germany's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, echoed Mr El Sisi’s concerns.

She said droughts in the Sahel region made it difficult for people to survive there.

“We, being prosperous, industrialised countries want to set a good example, working with other countries for climate neutrality and contributing to their economic prosperity,” Ms Baerbock said on Tuesday.

She emphasised the need for developed countries to help modernise developing nations, allowing them to reduce their carbon footprints.

Funding initiatives must also be established to ensure poor countries can cover the costs of adapting key sectors to cope with rising temperatures, she said.

Developing countries, which have been profoundly affected by climate change, will also need funding to help them cope with the effects of natural disasters and carry out climate change mitigation efforts, Ms Baerbock said.

Mr Shoukry said developing nations should not be left behind the global fight against climate change.

“We proceed to a successful Cop27 with the recognition that we are in this together. We can only succeed together or unfortunately we will fail together,” he said.

Mr Shoukry emphasised the importance of the world staying united as it tackles climate change.

The Egyptian delegation at the dialogue listened to the “views expressed on the main issues on the agenda and have come closer to understanding the areas of convergence but also the areas of divergence", he said.

He said all parties must come to the table with a “willingness to compromise”.

Using the Russia-Ukraine conflict as a cautionary tale, Ms Baerbock said unity was vital to efforts to tackle climate change.

The war has resulted in Russia limiting the supply of gas to Europe, but German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday that had only hastened the continent’s move towards renewable energy.

Germany has pledged to fully support Egypt as it hosts Cop27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

Updated: July 19, 2022, 4:33 PM