Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stressed on Friday the need for “adequate financing in terms of tools, mechanisms, sources, volume, and ease of access” for developing countries to cope with the cost of the devastation caused by the climate crisis.
The president’s participation in United Nations’ Climate Change Conference COP28 comes as Egypt handed the presidency to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after putting a focus on the challenges of, and action for, developing and African countries in 2022.
Al-Sisi’s comments come following the adoption of an agreement on a Loss and Damage Fund. The blueprint for the fund was drafted at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, but mechanisms around how and to whom the money would be dispersed are expected to be negotiated at the conference.
“I look forward to leaving our conference with an enhanced international framework to develop cooperation and provide the financial and technical support needed for developing countries,” Al-Sisi said during the Summit of Heads of State and Government.
While Al-Sisi did not mention the conflict in Gaza, he mentioned that the conference “convenes amidst serious political and international challenges, no less significant than the impacts of climate change”.
Al-Sisi also reaffirmed the principles of equity, just transition, and common but differentiated responsibilities as foundational principles in the multilateral framework.
The Egyptian president is scheduled to hold talks with a host of heads of state and government in Dubai, where the COP28 conference is taking place between 30 November and 12 December.
Among the 70,000 attendees are the heads of state of France, Japan, the UK, Qatar, Jordan, and Brazil. However, the presidents of the world’s two biggest polluting countries — the US and China — are not attending.
Delegates are due to review and calibrate the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCC’s) terms, Paris Agreement, and Kyoto Protocol, a binding treaty agreed in 1997 for industrialised nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
They will also face their first Global Stocktake, a process designed to assess the global response to the climate crisis every five years as per the Paris Agreement, so countries can adapt their next climate action plans which are due in 2025.
Al-Sisi pointed out the responsibility of leaders to send a clear message that they are committed and ambitious in actions and implementation. He issued a global call for all parties to provide full and sincere support to the UAE to “ensure historic outcomes from the Dubai conference”.
Reaffirming Egypt’s commitment to confronting the challenge of climate change, Al-Sisi called on the international community to take more ambitious steps in Dubai, and to avoid “unilateral actions that consider only narrow interests”.