In a meeting with African leaders on the sidelines of the World Climate Summit (COP21), French President Francois Hollande said his country would invest €2bn by 2020 in renewable energy projects in Africa to increase the continent’s access to electricity.
“The world, and in particular the developed world, owes the African continent an environmental debt,” he said.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said Africa’s nations are playing a constructive and effective role to address the challenges of climatic change through an initiative for sustainable development and environment preservation.
In his speech at the COP21 Tuesday, Al-Sisi said this initiative is the only one that links between the increased rates of development and the contribution to the international efforts to address the phenomenon of climate change. He urged the international community, particularly developed countries and regional and international organisations, to provide full support to this initiative in terms of financing and transfer of technology and human capacity-building.
Al-Sisi also urged Hollande to work with Africa to mobilise international support for the implementation of this initiative and its objectives within the framework of France’s leading role.
“Egypt will continue its active role in the climate change issue until an ambitious international agreement is reached to address the climate challenges we all face,” Al-Sisi said.
Africa is keen on not making this initiative a political declaration but a comprehensive framework that must include international and regional support to achieve sustainable development in all the countries of Africa. All nations must be encouraged to adopt environment-friendly policies for the benefit of the international community to prevent the increase of global warming.
Egyptian Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy said through this summit, Egypt aims to reach a binding objective agreement on climate change, taking into account the rights of all parties based on the principle of joint responsibility and burden-sharing between the developed and the developing countries in alleviating climatic changes. Africa contributes the least to thermal emissions but is the most affected by the consequences of climate change.
Fahmy said Egypt’s national plan, submitted to the conference, contains 13 items including the commitment of developed countries to support developing countries in achieving the Green Climate. Developing countries should apply for funding to adapt their environmental projects.
Egypt gives great importance to achieve balance among all the elements of the agreement, which will hopefully be reached through the summit. The agreement should also guarantee the provision of means in financing and technology, capacity building, transparency of procedures, and respect for all the principles and provisions of the agreement.
“We want a fair agreement; we went to Paris not to change the framework convention on climate change. We do not want a new agreement, we just want to activate the current one,” Fahmy said.