Cairo offered Yasmine Fouad, the environment minister, a junior position and the top job to a career diplomatic with no climate experience.
The Cop27 climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, November will be led by Sameh Shoukry by the Egyptian government.
The country’s environment minister Yasmine Fouad, a climate scientist, will be Cop27 “ministerial coordinator and envoy”.
After meeting with Alok Sharma (President of Cop26), their appointments were made in a joint communiqué with the UK.
While Shoukry has no significant experience or expressed interest in climate change, Fouad was lead author on a chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on desertification in 2017 and co-chaired finance talks at Cop26 in November.
Congratulations to Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry 🇪🇬 on his appointment as #COP27Designated President
Excellent discussion with Minister Shoukry, Minister Yasmine Fuuad on joint UK/Egypt climate work in the new year
— Alok Sharma (@AlokSharma_RDG) January 15, 2022
Fouad worked for UN organisations and NGOs, as well as universities. He is a veteran of environment ministry. He was appointed deputy minister in 2014, and was promoted to the top job at the Ministry in 2018.
21 Cop summits were chaired or co-chaired by men. There have been more male delegates at every summit than there have been female delegates.
Shoukry is a career diplomat who worked his way up to become then-president Hosni Mubarak’s ambassador to Washington in 2008, a job he held on to until 2012 despite the Arab Spring uprisings.
Shoukry was reinstated into government by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who seized power to become president of the country in 2014.
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In 2008, the US ambassador to Geneva Warren Tichenor described Shoukry, then his Egyptian counterpart, as being “aggressive”, “heavy-handed”, “curt and rude”.
In a confidential message later revealed by Wikileaks, Tichenor said Shoukry had an “activist and at times aggressive approach to Geneva multilateral diplomacy, in pursuit of goals the US does not support”.
Writing to his successor in the job, Tichenor said Shoukry spoke excellent English and some Spanish, “can be charming” and a “gracious host” who “reminisces fondly about his years in grade school in the Washington DC area”.
But “even in his personal comportment, he reveals moments of heavy-handedness, as in the derisive way in which he treats his driver” and being “curt and rude” to visitors to his office brought by the US mission.
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Egypt was selected by the African Group as Cop27 host. The country promised to make resilience an priority and adapt to the effects of climate changes.
In a climate plan submitted to the UN in 2017, Egypt outlined the country’s vulnerability to heatwaves, flooding and water scarcity from climate change. It did not quantify an emission target.
Under the Paris Agreement countries were expected to increase their ambitions for their climate plans by 2020. Egypt has yet not done so.
A 2020 Ipsos Mori Poll found that Egypt has a lower awareness of climate change than other North African nations.
Just 26% of Egyptians said climate change “exists and is mostly caused by human activity”. That number was 71% for Morocco, which has hosted two Cop Summits.
Source: Climate Change News