Egypt's 'African' Cop27 will be inclusive in its search for harmony

Egyptian environment minister says nature and human beings need to be in tune

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - July 01, 2019: Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment for Egypt speaks. Climate and Health MinistersÕ Meeting. There will be three sections: air quality, climate-induced disasters and weather events, and financing approaches for the health-climate nexus. Day 2 of Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting. Monday the 1st of July 2019. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Cop27 will be inclusive and have “multidisciplinary participation”, said Egypt’s Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad, whose country will host the climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh next year.

Ms Fouad, speaking online from Glasgow’s Cop26 with an image of a landscape from the African continent behind her, said Cop27 was being hosted “on behalf of Africa”.

She said it was a bit early to discuss the priorities of Cop27, in part due to the fact that Cop26 is still ongoing, but said climate financing and adaptation would probably feature.

“Egypt is hosting [Cop27] on behalf of Africa. You see the photo at the back represents the vast natural resources of Africa in co-ordination and in harmony with human beings,” she told the Paris Peace Forum.

“The interaction between the climate, the land, the plants and human beings. That’s the whole harmony that we are looking for.”

Cop26 will conclude at the end of this week. Vulnerable countries have urged for stronger commitments on finance to help them adapt to climate change and repair the damage they are suffering, in response to an early draft deal for the Glasgow summit released on Wednesday.

Negotiators in Glasgow have made progress in some areas, but issues remain over climate financing and supporting the developing world, Ms Fouad said.

“Overall, Glasgow Cop26 is progressing well in some parts and still lagging behind in the parts that relate more to the needs and aspirations of the developing countries.”

She also backed Wednesday’s US-China agreement to enhance climate co-operation and to work together to keep global warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. Ms Fouad said it was important that the world's biggest emitters – China and the US are the two largest – assumed their responsibilities in the fight again climate change.

Meanwhile, at a Unicef event in Glasgow alongside Cop26, young climate activists said they wanted a more direct role in making climate policy at future events.

Mary Robinson, a former Irish president and UN human rights commissioner, said the next generation should be better represented in Cop delegations.

“I do think, at this stage, that every delegation should include at least one, hopefully even more than one, young person with the delegate badge. Then they get into the room," she said.

“You are growing up in a world which doesn’t have a future for you at the moment unless grown-ups make the right decision. It’s a hard place to be in, that you have to wait for adults to take it seriously enough."

Saher Rashid Baig, 24, from Pakistan, asked: "How many more Cops will we have where the decisions do not include our young people, children and future generations?

"Those who are happy with the current pace of progress clearly won’t see their lives threatened by the climate breakdown. But we will."

Priyanka Lalla, 15, from Indonesia, said the current climate trajectory "will be catastrophic for our countries".

“A lot of this is because of the limited knowledge, especially on mitigation and adaptation, and young people not having access to education.

“When I think that many young people are being left out of the education system, I really ask myself, will Glasgow be the turning point in the world’s history?"

Updated: November 11, 2021, 3:56 PM