LONDON, England – COP26 president Alok Sharma and Egyptian environment minister Yasmine Fouad held a call to discuss collective ambitions for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
In their first call together, the two ministers discussed the critical importance of maintaining shared efforts on climate change during this unprecedented time. While the world rightly focuses on fighting coronavirus, the challenge of climate change has not gone away, and the ministers expressed their shared desire to see increased activity in this area over the coming 18 months.
COP26 president Sharma particularly welcomed the positive collaboration between the UK and Egypt on Adaptation and Resilience (A&R), including the recent creation of the UN ‘Group of Friends on Climate Adaptation and Resilience’, launched jointly by the UK and Egypt in June. This platform will be key to building on A&R outcomes from the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 – where the UK and Egypt co-led a coalition of countries to commit to raising ambition on A&R – and in the lead up to COP26 itself, which will be hosted by the UK, in partnership with Italy, in Glasgow from November 1-12, 2021.
The two ministers also discussed Egypt’s key role as a thought-leader and early-adopter of renewable energy in the region. Projects such as Benban solar park, Africa’s largest, will be central to a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19, and both ministers saw the significant potential for economic recovery packages to focus on investing in clean energy technologies.
COP26 president Alok Sharma said: “I was delighted to speak again to my good friend Egyptian Environment Minister Dr Yasmine Fouad. My thanks to her and the Egyptian Government for the work they have been doing on tackling climate change and particularly on their excellent cooperation on our joint Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience. I look forward to the UK and Egypt continuing to work together to provide strong international leadership on climate change, both as we prepare for COP26 and looking ahead to an African COP27. I hope to see Egypt come forward with ambitious national plans which set out a pathway to net-zero.”
Environment minister Fouad said: “Our cooperation with the UK on adaptation & resilience is successful, and we continue to support the UK in preparing for COP26 and taking material steps to support vulnerable countries to address climate change. Egypt is growing and transforming, and green finance with a focus on sustainability measures and climate change is at the heart of our attention. The environment portfolio is supported by president Abdelfattah El-Sisi, and packaged with investment.”