Egypt to issue targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of UN summit

Egypt to issue targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of UN summit
Egypt is set to issue a new target to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to FM Sameh Shoukry.
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Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry urged stronger action to stop climate change [Getty]

Egypt plans to issue a new national target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions within weeks, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Friday, as it prepares to take the lead on global climate negotiations as host of a UN summit in November.

Last year, countries agreed at the COP26 UN summit in Glasgow to revisit and strengthen their 2030 climate targets in time for the COP27 meeting to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

But so far virtually no country has submitted an enhanced target since Glasgow, according to David Waskow, a director of the non-profit World Resources Institute, who tracks the talks.

Egypt could be among the first. Shoukry, who also serves as COP27 president, called on all countries to submit their new targets, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and urged stronger action to stop climate change.

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"Egypt will be declaring its revised NDCs, hopefully within a matter of weeks," he said.

"I hope others will pay attention to what we will demonstrate in terms of ambition and commitment when our revised NDCs are issued."

Waskow said that Egypt has lagged other countries in submitting climate targets. Egypt submitted its most recent NDC in 2017 and failed to submit a new one by a deadline last year for COP26.

But depending what the new target says, it could still be helpful in driving others to act, Waskow said.

"It is helpful for (Egypt) to get the ball rolling and to, we hope, set an important marker for what countries do need to do," Waskow said.

Shoukry spoke alongside Great Britain's Alok Sharma, president of COP26, at the conclusion of two days of meetings among ministers from more than 40 countries, held to discuss progress toward meeting climate commitments.

Sharma said that last year's Glasgow climate deal was a "fragile win." He said countries must now follow through on their commitments for there to be any hope of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the threshold beyond which climate change will become significantly worse.