With the upcoming Climate Change Conference taking place in Doha this November, Cairo Climate Talk (CCT) dedicated its tenth talk on Monday to discuss the expectations, aims, positions and opportunities of further German-Egyptian cooperation, with leading members of the negotiation teams from Germany and Egypt.
“Egypt is in a very privileged position now because the leaders can look around and learn from the experiences of others,” German Ambassador Michael Bock said in the opening speech of the CCT, adding “we have made many errors and we are ready to share the experience with you”.
The discussion started with the statement of Dr. Karsten Sach, Deputy Director General for European and International Environment Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, in which he stressed on the criticality of reaching a common understanding on how to deal with issues of climate change. He also said that despite the different positions and views of different countries, the solution should be a global one.
“There are different realities out there. But creating solutions means we need to be quick. It means we need to find partners within governments and partners in the civil society and this enhances negotiations,” Dr. Sach told the audience of CCT on Monday.
On behalf of the Egyptian side, H.E. Min. Pleni. Ahmed Ihab Gamal El Din, Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Environmental Affairs & Sustainable Development, emphasised that it is important in this round of negotiations to recognise the inherent right of developing countries to grow and that this can take place best with effective networks of cooperation with developed countries.
“The 2 °C would require huge sacrifices. How much would be the responsibility of developed countries and much would be the responsibility of developing countries? This is an issue that has to do with the distribution of the burden,” H.E. Min. Pleni. Gamal El Din said.
Years of scientific studies and negotiations have stated that global governments must prevent warming of more than two degrees Celsius to prevent apocalyptic climate outcomes. Although this limit is directly or indirectly recognised by international negotiators, it has been among the points of disagreement between global governments, with the United States of America stating recently that this limit could be “unworkable”.
Panelists in CCT engaged with the audience in a discussion that also tackled points of challenge for the climate change negotiations, including the historical responsibility of developed countries compared to the responsibility of major current emitters of carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming.
The upcoming conference in Doha is the first to be hosted by an Arab country and is the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. It takes place between November 26 and December 7, 2012.
Although both panellists agreed that the issues of climate change could not be solved overnight during the Doha conference, they also stressed on its importance as a step forward towards a global solution for these problems.
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