Egypt is praised for its important role hosting COP27

An American think tank praises Egypt's leadership in climate change. Ahmad Abdel-Rahman explains why.

Egypt's Arab-African identity makes it a representative of the south, and the Sharm El-Sheikh summit is an opportunity to refine Egypt's regional and international position.

The US Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that Egypt, by hosting the COP27 global climate summit, which began on November 6 in the southern city of Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Sea, would be at the heart of one of the world's most pressing challenges.

Carnegie said in a report on its website that Egypt views the summit as an opportunity to demonstrate its leadership in the climate crisis. From the Corona epidemic to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and from high energy prices to great power conflicts, Egypt wants to present itself as a representative of the global south. It has the identity of an Arab-African country - a gateway to Africa and the Middle East.

In light of the deepening of its partnership with Europe in the field of gas and the continuation of the Russian war in Ukraine, Egypt will use its presidency of the global climate summit to pressure Europe and the West. It wants countries to strike a balance between climate action and energy security. Egypt believes that this goal can be achieved by supporting permanent investments in natural gas abroad, in line with the development goals of the global south.

The report also says that Cairo is taking the lead on the issue of climate change, a critical global issue. This means that Egypt is at the heart of international diplomacy, not only as a representative of Africa and the Middle East, but as a representative of the global south. The last time Cairo was the center of a major global issue was in 1994, when it hosted the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, at which migration, family planning, and women's health were discussed. The summit was attended by prominent world leaders, including US former vice president Al Gore and former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The COP27 global climate summit promises high levels of political and media participation.

The Carnegie report said that Egypt views the global climate summit as an opportunity to refine its regional position because it has international standing in Africa and the Middle East. The COP27 conference helps to solidify this standing.

Egypt's presidency of the African Union began in 2019, which Cairo exploited to strengthen its position outside the Nile Basin and North Africa. In its presidency of the African Union, Egypt represented Africa's views on the world stage in forums such as the United Nations General Assembly, the Munich Security Conference, and the Group of Seven summit in the French city of Biarritz, which was held in August 2019, as well as the G20 Summit in Osaka, the African-Russian Summit, and the British-African Summit.

After South Africa assumed the presidency of the African Union in February 2020, Egypt continued to integrate into the strategic African scene. Before hosting the COP27 climate summit, Cairo used the Aswan Forum and regular consultative sessions with its African counterparts as a policy platform to help unify Africa's position on energy access.

Egypt also hopes, according to the report, to use the summit to demonstrate its position as the architect of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, which it established in 2019. Unsurprisingly, because of the energy crisis that Europe is facing in the wake of the Ukraine war, many European leaders arrived in Sharm El-Sheikh. Egypt plays a central role in the energy security of Europe, because of its commitment to natural gas exports to the European continent. The Carnegie Endowment also confirmed that Egypt's place at the heart of gas policies in the Mediterranean means strong relations with Europe.

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Saturday, 30 September 2023