The 20th Cairo Climate Talk on "From Warsaw to Paris: Negotiating Global Climate Change" brought together stakeholders from administration, business, science, and non-governmental organizations. Panelists discussed the results of climate negotiations in Poland, the future international climate regime, and policy options for Egypt. Environment Minister Dr. Leila Rashed Iskander Kamel pointed to promising debates in the ministerial cabinet regarding renewable energy support, as well as the controversial debate over increasing the use of coal, especially in the cement industry. Dr. Camilla Bausch from Ecologic Institute presented results of the Warsaw summit and an outlook for the upcoming negotiations.
Over 100 participants attended the event, which featured speakers including German Ambassador Michael Bock, Egypt's chief negotiator at the international climate negotiations Ambassador Mahmoud Samir Samy, and Lama el-Hatow from the League of Independent Activists (IndyACT).
Strengthening incentives for market-based instruments?
Panelists discussed the roles of Germany and Egypt in the negotiations, developments in international climate funding, and specific funding offers of Germany. Other topics that drew attention included options to use market instruments like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the New Market Mechanism (NMM) as well as policy developments around Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMAs) at international and national level.
An ambitious climate agreement needs more confidence
Participants also considered the result of the Warsaw summit in light of a future climate regime to be agreed upon in 2015, with the slow pace of progress raising concerns. It was emphasized that the current level of mitigation ambition would not suffice to keep the increase in global temperature below two degrees Celsius, and participants disagreed about which contribution to the global climate change mitigation challenge to expect from which countries.
First NAMAs despite institutional deficits
As for Egypt’s mitigation options, participants criticized energy subsidies and cited ongoing debates over increasing coal usage especially in the cement sector. They pointed to the possibilities of expanding wind and solar power and to the development and implementation of NAMAs in Egypt, as well as to the need to build necessary institutional capacities for technology transfer in Egypt.
Time to act - a national target for Egypt
Looking at developments in the EU, the proposals of the European commission on the EU’s 2030 climate targets were presented. In this context, some mentioned Egypt’s preparations to possibly establish an Egyptian target.
Workshop for Egyptians and training for Germans
The panel discussion marked the conclusion of a series of meetings. Earlier worshops had featured Mahmoud Samir Samy and Dr. Camilla Bausch, together with Sigrun Meyer from the German Foreign Office, presenting their views to experts from the Egyptian government. Bausch and Meyer had also previously conducted a climate policy training for German officials living in the North-African region. Embassy officials from Cairo, Tunis, and Addis Abeba, as well as from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and religious groups attended the training.
Cairo Climate Talks raise awareness of the importance of climate change
The "Cairo Climate Talks" (CCT) should serve to strengthen awareness of the importance of climate change and the respective negotiations within the Egyptian public, and also help to promote trans-boundary exchanges and cooperation between relevant players. The CCT are organized by the German Embassy in Cairo, the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Joint Egyptian-German High Level Committee on renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection (JCEE).