In Egypt, the World Youth Forum anticipates the climate of COP27 in November
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
“Sit over here. Rest, take a seat.”
Those will be the words that the thousands of accredited people will hear the most here at the climate change summit COP27 in November this year, which will succeed the one in Glasgow last December, in the continuity of the application of the Paris Agreement, to try to ensure that the global average temperature does not exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial times. This insistent Egyptian friendliness seems to continue a tradition of hospitality generated after long movements through the desert, rather than for modernities made of sedentary stays in all kinds of chairs and in front of all kinds of screens. It is likely that the visitor does not want to rest, but rather to remain standing while he finishes some paperwork or fixes a logistical inconvenience of those that happen around here and change shape like the dunes.
It will be this area in the south of the Sinai peninsula, where there is a vast complex of five-star resorts (built mainly for the pleasure of Russians with high purchasing power), the scene of the discussion about how to find an effective transition towards a world without carbon emissions. And, ironically, without the wasteful consumption that reigns in Sharm, as the locals prefer to tell it.
Anyway, it will be this area south of the Sinai Peninsula, where there is a vast complex of five-star resorts (built for the solace of mostly high-net-worth Russians), the setting for the discussion about how to come up with an effective transition to a zero-carbon world. And, ironically, without the wasteful consumption that reigns in Sharm, as the locals prefer to tell it.
It’s right here in charming Sharm (lovely Sharm), where the fourth World Youth Forum took place this week, with discussions on everything about climate change and the slow and complex exit from the pandemic. The Forum -organized by the Egyptian government- is intended to continue annually, but since 2019 it had not been possible, so the motto is now Back together (Together again). President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, a 67-year-old from Cairo who was in the 2013 coup against Mohamed Morsi, whose minister he was, and today is called “savior of the country,” participated in almost all the sessions.
The forum, in which hundreds of young people from all over the world participate but predominantly from the region, seeks to “involve them in discussions about development and send a message of peace from Egypt to the world,” according to the official communication. The opening day was blessed, through recorded speeches, by the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, from the WHO, the Ethiopian biologist Tedros Ghebreyesus (“hopefully this 2022 is the year the pandemic ends”) and David Malpass, from the World Bank (“the world lost 70 billion dollars because of the virus”).
When the delegates of the 196 countries arrive in November to discuss actions against climate change, it will have been 12 years since the last time the United Nations summit was held in a town with exclusive hotel complexes, difficult for society to access. civil.
When the delegates of the 196 countries arrive in November to discuss actions against climate change, it will have been 12 years since the last time the United Nations summit was held in a town with exclusive hotel complexes, difficult for society to access. civil. It had been in Cancun in 2010, and Sharm’s mirror Mexican headquarters had received its fair share of criticism for being one of the least sustainable places on the planet.
Here, in South Sinai, in the hot Middle East, there will be other challenges, such as curbing the influence of oil companies and achieving, among other things, that developed countries comply with the 100,000 million dollars per year promised, more than a decade ago. , for changes in the energy and production matrix.
In practical terms, those accredited to the future COP27 will also have to deal with local staff, who are not always efficient, the presence of technological luxuries such as those in the main hall of the Sharm Convention Center, which showed the appearance of spectacular holograms of figures such as Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa and the medieval scientist Averroes, as well as with scientifically unsound messages (take vitamins to combat Covid) and with cigarette smoke, unusually allowed in closed areas to the anger of those who do not tolerate it and suffer from it (even more so in times of Covid!).
Sharm, as the locals prefer to call it (not much mystery in its meaning: Bay), is an hour by plane from Cairo. Its less than 80,000 inhabitants are going to receive a veritable wave of officials, negotiators and climate activists at the end of the year. Between that hieroglyph and mixture of UN languages, progress will be sought in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which in Glasgow finished defining its fine print, but still needs (alert, jargon) to take advantage of the momentum, drive ambition and resources for new energies. In the interpretation of such a Rosetta stone, part of the steps that a civilization will take that sees how the planet gradually becomes increasingly difficult to live on is at stake.