President El-Sisi’s Speech at the Closed Meeting of Heads of State and Government on Climate Change
Wednesday، 21 September 2022 - 12:00 AM
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,
Mr. António Guterres,
Secretary General of the United Nations,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
I would like to sincerely thank you and express my appreciation to you for your participation in this important meeting, held in partnership between Egypt and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I was looking forward to attending it with you; however, I could not be in New York due to unforeseen circumstances. About a year ago, we participated together in this meeting, in preparation for the UK Climate Summit.
As we are just a few weeks away from the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCCC hosted by Egypt in Sharm El-Sheikh, we are meeting again today under the shadow of momentous events taking place over the past year that resulted in political crises and brought challenges to food, energy, and supply chains, affecting all parts of the world.
These challenges have, undoubtedly, placed additional burdens on all of our countries, especially the developing ones. However, we must always rely on objective scientific reports that unequivocally confirm that climate change remains the most dangerous existential challenge facing our planet and that its repercussions are exacerbating, day after day, as temperature increases.
Perhaps the floods resulting in unprecedented damage and loss of life in the friendly State of Pakistan recently and the unprecedented forest fires caused by rising temperatures in the European continent and the United States, are a harsh harbinger of what the future of our children and grandchildren will be like unless we move quickly and coherently to meet climate pledges for cutting emissions, building resilience, and boosting climate finance for developing countries.
While I look forward to receiving you at the Climate Summit, on the seventh and eighth of next November, I am confident that our meeting today will deliver a strong message, paving the way toward achieving tangible results in Sharm El-Sheikh. Thus, I would like to introduce Egypt's vision regarding the elements of this message, for which our peoples are waiting from our meeting today:
First - As an international community, aside from any global condition or political dispute, we will not renege on the commitments we have taken on, the pledges we have made, and the policies we have adopted that have already made significant gains in the face of climate change.
Second- As world leaders, we are fully aware that the efforts made do not meet what is required to be achieved. We will take all necessary measures to fulfill our commitments whether by raising ambition and updating our nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, or by supporting all efforts and initiatives aimed at promoting climate action, in partnership with all state and non-state actors including the civil society, banks, international financial institutions and the global private sector. These parties are indispensable in this confrontation.
Third - As an international community, we are fully aware of the burden placed on the developing and least developed countries. What they must face in order to fulfill their climate commitments, while continuing to make development efforts and eradicate poverty in light of an unprecedented food and energy crisis, is enormous.
The developed countries pledge to expedite implementation of our commitments toward these countries to provide climate finance in favor of emissions reduction and adaptation and resilience building. This is to be achieved whether by fulfilling the $100 billion pledge and doubling funding for adaptation, or by arriving at a consensus -as soon as possible- on the new funding target, beyond 2025.
I am confident that you agree with me about this vision and I know that you will come to Sharm El Sheikh bearing the aspirations and expectations of all our peoples. I have no doubt that, as world leaders, we will rise to the responsibility entrusted to us to put this vision into practice so future generations would not look at us, saying: you had an opportunity that you wasted and today we are paying a heavy price.