The 12th Cairo Climate Talk on "The way forward after Doha" brought together decision makers, academics, and representatives of businesses and non-governmental organizations to discuss the outcomes of the climate change negotiations in Qatar. The Egyptian Environment Minister Dr. Khaled Fahmy showed great interest in increasing the involvement of non-governmental actors in the Egyptian political process. Dr. Camilla Bausch of Ecologic Institute presented the negotiation results and European perspectives on possible future regimes.
Over 100 guests followed further statements of German Ambassador Michael Bock, Dr. Samir Tantawi of the Egyptian Environmental Agency (EEAA), Mariam Allam of the Arab youth climate movement (AYCM) and Dr. Amr Osama Abdel Aziz of the Integral Consult.
In addition, Dr. Samir Tantawi and Dr. Camilla Bausch had the opportunity to attend a second event where they presented and discussed their views on the issue with a dozen experts from the Egyptian administration.
Both events addressed the meaning of the Doha-results for national and international climate protection. Ambition levels for emission mitigation, the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the development of a new UN climate regime and international financial commitments, as well as the use of market instruments such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the New Market Mechanism (NMM) were discussed.
The outcomes of the Doha negotiations were generally seen as a step forward, however, it was emphasized that they are still not sufficient to achieve the overall goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The negotiations concerning the new climate treaty, mitigation ambition and funding will continue to provide significant challenges to the international community.
With a view to the Egyptian position in particular, many underlined the need for greater involvement. The importance of climate protection for and in Egypt was highlighted in the context of the vulnerability of Egypt to the effects of global warming.
Furthermore, participants showed great interest in understanding what mitigation measures are planned for Germany in order to achieve the transformation to a low-carbon, nuclear-free energy system.
The general discussion touched further topics such as energy subsidies in Egypt and opportunities to contribute to climate change protection through mitigation measures related to renewable energy or energy efficiency. There was concern for the future of the CDM in Egypt, and elsewhere - especially in the context of lack of demand - and the overall lack of ambition of the international community to promote climate protection. The conditions necessary for implementation and possible opportunities for "Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action" (NAMAs) and concrete emission reduction targets were discussed, as well as the challenges of setting up emissions inventories.
Differences of opinion were apparent, in particular relating to the inclusion of aviation in the European emissions trading scheme and the importance of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in the context of the design of a future climate agreement.
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).
The CCT event report is available online.