Sahar Ibrahim, Mohamed Nasr Sobi, Ahmed Suleiman and Mohamed Khamis
In its fourth edition, the World Youth Forum (WYF) discussed climate change.
The forum organized a special session on Tuesday, titled ‘The Road from Glasgow to Sharm El-Sheikh … The Fight against Climate Changes’.
Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attended the session.
He said humans are the only creatures on Earth that can destroy this planet.
“They are also able to reform things,” he said.
The Egyptian leader noted that countries can, through the private sector, take advantage of the opportunities presented by the measures they take to mitigate climate change.
President Sisi stressed that the year 2023 would witness the production of the first Egyptian electric car.
He explained that Egypt moved quickly in the field of electric cars and began working on an initiative to replace old vehicles with new ones that run on natural gas.
“Electric and gas-powered cars are expected replace 30% of the cars present in our country today, especially those that run on diesel and gasoline,” the president said.
He added that he realized the enormity of the dangers entailed in climate change and that everyone should know that God made man capable of development and reconstruction.
President Sisi described the mechanisms of human action as ‘enormous’.
“In every adversity and crisis there is always an opportunity,” the president said.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister, Mustafa Madbouli, who spoke in the same session, said Egypt is among the countries most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change.
“This comes even as this country bears limited responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions,” the prime minister said.
He noted that Egypt’s contribution to global emissions was estimated at 0.6% only.
Egypt, he said, has enormous potential in new and renewable energies.
He cited the American rating agency, Fitch, in saying that Egypt has the largest electrical capabilities of wind and solar energy in the Middle East and North Africa.
He added that Egypt has a plan to double its energy production from renewable sources.
The prime minister referred to estimated material losses from climate changes since 1970.
He said these losses amounted to $3.6 trillion.
“The year 2021 witnessed ten major global disasters, which led to losses amounting to $170 billion,” the prime minister said.
He added that climate change has become a serious phenomenon that threatens the human race.
Prime Minister Madbouli noted that temperatures have risen at unprecedented rates, leading to a rise in the sea level.
All of this, he said, resulted from significant increases in carbon dioxide emissions, which reached the highest level in thousands of years.
“Our planet suffers from rising average temperatures, declining air quality, extreme weather phenomena and rising sea levels,” Prime Minister Madbouli said.
He added that Egypt has begun creating an interactive map to avoid the risks of climate change.
It is also developing, he said, a national plan for water resources until 2037 at a cost of $50 billion.
The prime minister referred to the five main tracks of Egyptian action in energy.
The national strategy on climate change, he said, was launched by his cabinet.
The plan, he added, includes giant projects for adapting to and mitigating climate change.
He pointed to the creation of the National Council for Climate Change to set specific tasks for dealing with climate change.
The prime minister added that Egypt works on developing its waste system on the road to converting wastes into energy.
He said 30% of Egypt’s projects at present are green ones and that his government would increase this to 50% within the next two years.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Affairs, John Kerry, thanked President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for his leadership on the issue of climate change and his government’s commitment to sponsor the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh this year.
“Some young people feel frustrated, and I share the same feeling with many of them,” Kerry said.
“Scientists have told us unequivocally that we have about 8 years ahead during which we must take decisive decisions and implement them to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” he added.
He explained that the world saw unprecedented fires that came out of control.
We see the Antarctic, he said, where a huge ice sheet has exploded.
“We seek to maintain the Earth’s temperature,” he added, noting that the biggest challenge is for governments and the private sector to move, which has not been done so far.