The first training workshop for the "Reporters for Climate" Network
August 2, 2022 - Grand Nile Tower Hotel
Excellencies, colleagues, ladies, and gentlemen,
I would like to start by thanking the Arab Network for Environment and Development for leading on such important workshop for the reporters and journalists covering the climate agenda in Egypt.
With the selection of Egypt to host the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt’s presidency has taking robust steps towards making COP27 a milestone in international climate action.
In the last speech of President Sisi during Petersburg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, he affirmed that; “Egyptian presidency’s effort for the Conference of Parties is currently focused on the global climate summit to be a turning point in the field of international climate action to maintain international momentum.”
Building on this momentum, COP27 is hosted during a critical time of the climate action agenda. The latest IPCC report released a couple of months ago provided stark evidence that human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption. The climate scientists and the UN Secretary General have made it very clear that we need to stay below 1.5 degrees. The UN COP27 is the best opportunity we have for global solidarity against this existential threat of climate change.
We at the UN are therefore very pleased that the Presidency of COP27 has chosen to make this an implementation COP focusing on the work on the ground and moving away from empty words towards action. The presidency has walked this talk by launching the Presidential initiatives focusing on key - but yet concrete - climate issues and how we can tackle each one of them in a meaningful way. As co-chair of the UN Global Task Team together with the Assistant Secretary General, I am proud to say the UN has been part of developing these initiatives together with the government from the beginning. Currently we are seeing frontrunner initiatives shaping up such as the Agriculture and Water initiatives presented at the Bonn Subsidiary meeting.
COP27 is the first climate summit to be hosted in Africa in 6 years. We at the UN are also very pleased to see how seriously the presidency takes the responsibility of promoting the interests of the African continent - putting this on the top of the agenda of COP27. We are very proud to be supporting the presidency in collecting success stories from the entire African region – bringing the implementation COP and the African COP together. These success stories will be showcased at the COP27 focusing on how we can scale and replicate their valuable lessons.
COP27 should not be a “missed opportunity” for anyone. We are confident that Egypt’s presidency will spare no effort to speed up the implementation of the climate action agenda and drive ambitious reform. This was made clear at the official announcement yesterday of the roundtables to catalyze climate investment. These roundtables will be held globally and we at the UN are happy to be co-organizers. As this initiative is unprecedented this clearly shows the ambition and innovation of this presidency.
With 2022 as the year of Civil Society and COP27, CSOs are expected to have a strong and effective role in the success of COP27. It is a major opportunity for the world to hear the voices of Egypt’s CSOs and find out more about their efforts to counter environmental threats and improve the living conditions of the vulnerable communities subjected to climate threats.
Therefore, together with the Government and especially the Ministry of Environment we are launching a national climate impact perception survey. The main objective of the survey is to bring forward the voices that are often overlooked while being the hardest hit. Therefore, the survey explicitly targets youth, women, farmers and people with disabilities among other civil society members to bring forward their experiences.
At the national level, we are pleased to announce that we will be having a One UN Egypt COP27 Pavilion at the COP27. I am taking this opportunity to invite you to join the pavilion and as reporters to cover the extensive programme we will be hosting. We look forward to aligning this with the presidential programme.
I take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to the Government of Egypt to support its climate ambitions and fight the impacts of climate change.
Ladies and gentlemen;
I would like to conclude my remarks by addressing the role of the media and reporters not just in covering COP27 but advancing the climate agenda. We have less than 100 days until COP27, and we can't afford to waste any more time. The transformation of economies and societies, as well as mobilization of trillions in private and public finance must be accompanied with strong public engagement mobilized by media and reporters.
Capitalizing on new media tools and using digital platforms can undoubtedly have a positive impact on promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production. This can increase demand for responsible investment, promoting the mobilization of sustainable financial flows and ultimately increasing private-sector engagement in financing sustainable development in Egypt. We at the UN are happy to be supporting advocacy and awareness on these issues, and you are always welcome to reach out to us for support.
Finally, allow me to quote the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres; “to waste this opportunity would compromise our last chance to stop runaway climate change. It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.”