“We trust the world will come together, yet again, to reaffirm its commitment to the global climate agenda despite the difficulties and uncertainties of our time,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi says. Thus, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) is a moment of truth for the international community. This year’s COP, hosted in Sharm El-Sheikh, puts a welcome focus on Africa, implementation, and financing at scale. We must not lose the momentum to ramp up our support to meet the aspirations of the people to build a green, resilient, and inclusive future.
Since climate action is taking center stage in public consciousness, the COP27 is taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh from November 6th to 18th in a year of unprecedented global weather shocks, energy crisis, and scientific data reiterating that the world is not doing enough to protect the future of our planet. The global gathering, however, is an opportunity to showcase unity against an existential threat that can be overcome through concerted action and effective implementation.
The main event is held at the Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Centre (SHICC). More than 35,000 people have registered to attend representing governments, businesses, NGOs, and civil society groups. Around 110 heads of state are attending the event. Heads of State, ministers, and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs are meeting in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the largest annual gathering on climate action.
The COP27, builds on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency, from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience, and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.
Faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations, and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the planet. This 2022’s climate summit is a key milestone for multistakeholder actions and partnerships across the key five issues of nature, food, water, industry decarbonization, and climate adaptation.
The conference is happening in two zones; the Blue Zone and the Green Zone. The Blue Zone is an UN-managed space where negotiations are hosted. Meanwhile, the Green Zone is managed by the Egyptian government and open to the registered public. It included events, exhibitions, workshops and talks to promote dialogue, awareness, and commitment on climate action.
Besides the official negotiations, there are conference rooms, a pavilion section, roundtables, panel discussions, and thousands of side events happening, divided over thematic days. This year’s themes are: Finance, Science, Youth & Future Generations, Decarbonization, Adaptation & Agriculture, Gender, Water, Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) & Civil Society, Energy, Biodiversity and Solutions.
As it prepared to host COP27, the Arab world’s most populous nation is ramping up initiatives to improve the country’s environmental credentials and increase the pace of its transition to a low carbon economy. In this feature, Invest-Gate spotlights some of Egypt’s preparations to host a landmark COP27.
A Sustainable Conference
Delivering a sustainable carbon-neutral conference is a priority toward climate action. In this respect, Egypt is adopting several COP27-related initiatives, including projects related to sustainable transport, waste recycling, women’s health, the transition to clean energy, sustainable cities, and adaptation measures in the water and agriculture sector.
Having the conference venue situated in the heart of the green city of Sharm El-Sheikh, this offers sustainability a front seat throughout all the logistical preparation process of COP27.
Prioritizing sustainability principles and features can be recognized within Sharm El-Sheikh through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility, water reuse and conservation, and adopting a proper waste management process.
Sustainable guidelines have been integrated within the fabric of COP27. This includes using recyclable environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic products, paper use. Moreover, the sustainability dimensions in procurement, construction materials, supply chain, and catering, were taken into consideration.
Accommodation & Transportation
On the way to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, sustainability lies in the core of the ambitious and fair transition towards climate action in an effort to host a conference that represents the future we are all aspiring to.
Egypt’s government mandated to use renewable energy during the conference and developed the systems needed to rationalize energy consumption in both Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh airports, International Conference Center, and hotels.
Earlier, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed that 132 hotel establishments in Sharm El-Sheikh have obtained accreditation certifying that they use green practices. This is within the context of transforming Sharm El-Sheikh into an environmentally friendly city as part of the preparations for COP27
In addition, about 22 hotels obtained international certificates as green hotels whilst 64 hotels are in process to have Green Star certificate. In addition, a continuous reviewing system is conducted by the country’s ministries for hygiene and safety measures at hotels. Noteworthy to highlight, the city’s hotels, tourist and government facilities will be operated by natural gas.
In preparation for the COP27, the Red Sea coastal city has also established 24 smart charging bus and car fueling stations to host a collection of 130 eco-friendly buses among them 50 operated using electrical energy and 85 using natural gas to transport the conference attendees through determined routes.
The information infrastructure in Sharm El-Sheikh has been well-developed to receive COP27 guests. Visits to follow up on the telecommunications infrastructure preparations in the city have been made by government officials to ensure rendering digital services, high-speed Internet access, and communication services in all hotels and tourist facilities welcoming COP27 participants. Moreover, a total of 104 hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh have been connected through a fiber-optic network.
Further, a mobile application for COP27 has been recently launched. Through the new application, participants can receive many health, tourism, and logistics services. Moreover, they can plan their trips, know COP27 latest news, and translate instructions or signs into their languages. The application also provides main emergency services and means of direct contact with customer service for visitors.
Egypt post the COP27 climate summit
Beyond COP27, Egypt is working towards its billion-dollar National Climate Change Strategy 2050 to support a stronger, greener economy. The strategy is based around the reduction of emissions in all sectors, and adaptation to potential climate changes, in agriculture, water resources, coastal areas, and health.
Recently, the Egyptian government announced it will ink a number of low-cost sustainable green financing for nine projects with $15 billion in investments during the flagship UN climate conference.
The nine projects primarily focus on food security, energy, and irrigation and water resources fields. These financings come within the framework of the Nexus on Water, Food, and Energy (NWFE) program.
COP27 is a huge opportunity for the world to cooperate today in new, innovative ways to accelerate global efforts to confront the climate crisis and guarantee a cleaner, fairer future for all.