Enthusiastic decisions have been taken at the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27) that took place in November 2022 in Egypt as it engaged in massive campaign for clean forests and global warming actions.
At the conference, the EU and Egypt took a step to boost their long-term cooperation on clean energy transition by establishing a strategic partnership on renewable hydrogen and preparing the ground for a just energy transition in Egypt. The European Commission, represented by Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Simson, signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strategic partnership on renewable hydrogen with Egypt’s Minister for Petroleum Tarek El Molla and Minister for Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohammed Shaker El-Markabi. They also signed a Joint Statement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Rania El Mashat, announcing the Commission’s contribution of up to €35 million in support of Egypt’s Energy Wealth Initiative.
President Von der Leyen represented the European Commission at the World Leaders’ Summit that officially opened COP27. She took part in a number of events and signed bilateral declarations with several partners, with a particular focus on forest and climate partnerships and on the clean energy transition.
At the conference, the European Commission’s negotiating team pushed for the implementation of existing commitments to move from ambitious words to concrete actions, including through the adoption of a Mitigation Work Programme to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation in this critical decade, adaptation to climate change, loss and damage. The EU will seek effective solutions to meet the diverse needs of vulnerable countries around the world facing the effects of climate change. “We will work with developed countries to ensure they double financing for adaptation by 2025 compared to 2019 levels, and that they increase climate finance contributions to meet the annual $100 billion target to which the EU contributed €23.04 billion in 2021 – a steady and by far the largest contribution,” she said.
Climate finance is critical to support vulnerable communities to protect themselves against the impacts of climate change and to support sustainable economic growth. Developed countries have committed to mobilise a total of $100 billion of international climate finance per year from 2020 until 2025 to help the most vulnerable countries and small island states in particular, in their mitigation and adaptation efforts. The EU is the biggest donor with a steadily rising contribution to around a quarter of the target. Other donor countries must now step up their efforts and meet the current shortfall.
Furthermore, President von der Leyen, on behalf of the EU, signed five Memoranda of Understanding for a Forest Partnership with Guyana, Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zambia in the presence of President of Guyana Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, President of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema and representatives of President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, and President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni. They were signed during the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference as a contribution to the external dimension of the EU Green Deal.
Forest Partnerships encompass the EU’s holistic cooperation framework for joint work on forests, aimed at reversing deforestation in supported countries and consequently enhance climate and biodiversity protection. Forests act as carbon sinks, and are essential for both climate adaptation and mitigation.
“We need Forest Partnerships with as many partners as possible to maintain healthy forests for a more sustainable future. Through these partnerships, we will support our partners in sustainably managing and preserving forests, one of the world’s richest natural resource to combat climate change and conserve biodiversity as well as to promote sustainable development,” she said. Forest Partnerships are tailor-made, demand-driven and aligned with the specific situations, needs and objectives of each of the signatory countries.