World Leaders Gather for Implementation at COP27

World Leaders Gather for Implementation at COP27

On the inauguration of the Climate Implementation Summit, more than 100 World Leaders gathered at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt to work towards implementation of existing climate agreements.

World leaders were welcomed by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres.

The summit kicked off with an opening plenary opened by H.E. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi which featured a range of other prominent speakers from heads of state to climate leaders who delivered messages on the importance of urgent action to address climate change.

The high-level segment of the two-week UN climate summit opened in Egypt on Monday, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi urging participants to be flexible in negotiations to agree that can save the planet from rising temperatures.

“The time has arrived, the time to work. There’s no room for retreat or excuses. Missing the opportunity means the loss of our legacy and the future of our children and grandchildren,” said the Egyptian leader.

“This is a defining moment in the life of our planet.”

Mr El Sisi’s warning came as recent scientific findings showed that current trends would mean carbon pollution increasing by 10 per cent by the end of the decade, and the Earth’s surface heating up by 2.8 degrees.

The Egyptian president was the first to take to the podium as world leaders gathered to share their vision on how to save the planet. He was followed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and President Sheikh Mohamed.

Nearly 50 heads of state and prime ministers are scheduled to address the summit, also known as Cop27, at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh on Monday.

“What the world needs today to pull through the current climate crisis,” said Mr El Sisi.

“What our people are expecting now is effective, fast and just implementation, they expect from us real and tangible measures to reduce emissions and build a capability to adjust to the consequences of climate change.”

In his address, Mr El Sisi also made a passionate plea to world leaders to work towards ending the Russia-Ukraine war. He said the conflict has caused economic hardship to his country as well as many others.

“I call on behalf of myself and you, if you will allow me, for that war to stop; for this ruin and killing to stop.”

Mr Guterres delivered a stern warning on climate change, in keeping with his stepped-up rhetoric on the issue.

“Our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible,” he said. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator. It is unacceptable, outrageous and self-defeating to put it on the back burner.

“The science is clear: any hope of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees means achieving global net zero emissions by 2050. But that 1.5 degree goal is on life support and the machines are rattling. We are getting dangerously close to the point of no return,” he said.

Sheikh Mohamed, whose country hosts Cop28 next year, said climate change had an impact on the stability and security of the world and called for efforts to be united to confront the challenge.

He said the UAE would continue to produce and export oil and gas to meet world demand. The carbon intensity of the country’s oil was among the world’s lowest, he said, and pledged to continue to work to reduce gas emissions in the UAE’s large energy sector.

US President Joe Biden will address the two-week summit later this week.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, whose country was devastated by floods this summer, will speak on Tuesday.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has arrived in Sharm El Sheikh and was expected to address the meeting on Tuesday.

Downing Street said Mr Sunak will announce in Sharm El Sheikh that his government will give £65.5 million to a clean energy innovation facility that provides grants to researchers and scientists in developing nations who work on clean technologies.

Another £90m will go to the conservation of the Congo Basin rainforest and £65m to support communities.

Mr Sunak met Sheikh Mohamed on the sidelines of the summit on Monday.

Simon Stiell, the UN climate change executive secretary, said 110 leaders had confirmed their participation in the two-week summit. They join nearly 27,000 government representatives, about 14,000 observers and more than 3,000 media representatives, he added.

“We always want more leaders,” said Mr Stiell, alluding to earlier forecasts that as many as 200 leaders would attend. “But I believe there is sufficient (leadership) right now for us to have a very productive outcome.”

He said the summit’s Egyptian presidency had created a “very rich and innovative series of sessions” for the leaders to take part in, including round table discussions.