COP27 begins, world leaders arrive in Egypt
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COP27 begins, world leaders arrive in Egypt

COP27 begins, world leaders arrive in Egypt

With more than 2000 speakers and over 40,000 participants, the event will oversee leaders and activists share ideas, solutions and innovative projects for climate action

Zubina Ahmed
Climate activists and world leaders head to Egypt for COP27

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as Conference of the Parties or COP27, has begun from Sunday, November 6 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

World leaders and climate activists arrived in Egypt for the 27th annual UN climate talks. With more than 2000 speakers and over 40,000 participants, the two-week event will oversee world leaders and activists share ideas, solutions, and innovative projects for climate action.

The diverse representation will include around 100 heads of states and governments, and tens of thousands of delegates, civil society, media and all other relevant stakeholders. It will promote dialogue, awareness, education, and commitments via events, exhibitions, workshops, cultural performances, and talks.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will lead a high-level delegation at the conference, which provides an opportunity for the UAE to strengthen existing sustainable development partnerships and support international climate action initiatives.

Last year, Glasgow hosted COP26, which has widely been regarded as the biggest and most significant COP since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said, “The hosting of COP27 in the green city of Sharm El-Sheikh this year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the thirty years since, the world has come a long way in the fight against climate change and its negative impacts on our planet; we are now able to better understand the science behind climate change, better assess its impacts, and better develop tools to address its causes and consequences.”

He added, “the event will enable a broad interaction with various stakeholders where the voice of youth, women, civil society and indigenous people will be at the center of these discussions and an enabler to its influence. Among key focus areas will be the promise of innovation and clean technologies as well as the centrality of water and agriculture to the climate crisis. The role of science will also be highlighted in addition to biodiversity loss, energy transition, decarbonisation efforts and finance.”

Ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, special representative to the COP27 President reiterated, “The team has worked tirelessly to create an enabling environment that is conducive to successful negotiations. As the hosts of the COP27, we are keen on bringing representative of nations and stakeholders from across the world and to provide the required momentum to address the required actions for urgent and at-scale implementation of climate commitments and pledges.”

So what are the key topics and agenda at COP27?

The Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Center (SHICC) will form the Blue Zone, where all negotiations amongst delegates are set to take place. A 22,500 square meter Green Zone is where the business community, youth, civil society, academia, and artists from all over the world will have an additional space to be present and participate. This zone  aims to promote dialogue and engagement among climate actors via events, exhibitions, workshops, cultural performances and talks.

The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit will take place on November 7 and 8. Several roundtables will be held to focus on six key topics: Just Transitions, Food Security, Innovative Finance for Climate and Development, Investing in the Future of Energy, Water Security, and Climate Change and The Sustainability of Vulnerable Communities.

On the sidelines, COP27 has also designated several key thematic days to address existing implementation bottlenecks and gaps, and deepen engagement with youth, women, civil society, and indigenous people, among others. In addition, three days will be dedicated to youth and future generations, gender and civil society, their contributions, the challenges they face, the solutions they offer, and how to mainstream their engagement in planning and implementation of climate policies.

Egypt’s Presidency of COP27 has also launched several initiatives which include COP27 Presidency Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next Generation , Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition , Action on Water, Adaptation and Resilience, Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation Initiative, Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050, Africa Just & Affordable Energy Transition Initiative, Decent Life Initiative for a Climate Resilient Africa, Climate Responses for Sustaining Peace, African Women’s Climate Adaptive Priorities, Friends of Greening National Investment Plans, Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for Climate Transformation.

The opening plenary of COP27 commenced with the election of Sameh Shoukry as COP27 president by the Parties. In his remarks, Shoukry called on countries to show faith in multilateralism over the next two weeks as they negotiate to deliver on the goals of the Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement.

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