UN climate conference opens in Egypt in hopes to turn finance pledges into action

By Xinhua
On 7 November 2022 at 07:49

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — The 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) opened on Sunday in Egypt’s coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh in hopes to turn global climate finance pledges into action.

During his speech at the opening ceremony, Egyptian Foreign Minister and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry stressed the need to confront the negative effects of climate change during the two-week conference, where more than 120 world leaders will seek possible solutions to climate change challenges.

"Climate change threatens human life, and the development pattern in the industrial field which is no longer sustainable must be changed because this will lead to dire consequences," Shoukry warned.

"We have witnessed during this year painful events in Pakistan, the African continent and various parts of Europe and America. All these events and the destruction and impact represent a lesson to be learned and alarm all over the planet ... to more precaution, and to act quickly to take all necessary measures as per our commitments and pledges," he said.

The COP27 president also underscored the importance of the participation of non-state actors, including the private sector, banks, international finance institutions, civil society, youth associations and indigenous associations, for the sake of an efficient implementation of pledges and commitments.

"Climate change-related efforts over the past decades were remarkably polarized, which has slowed down progress of the negotiations," Shoukry said, adding the pledge to mobilize 100 billion U.S. dollars per year has not yet been honored.

Meanwhile, Alok Sharma, president of COP26 hosted in Glasgow, Scotland, urged unity to keep the 1.5-degree-Celsius goal within reach, highlighting the important role finance will play in this conference.

"We know that we have reached a point where finance makes or breaks the progress of the program ahead of us," he noted.

"This summit must be about concrete actions and I hope when the world leaders join us today, they will explain what their countries achieved during the last year and how they will go further," the British politician said.

Photo shows the opening ceremony of the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Sui Xiankai)