The heat rises as Egypt blocks ambition

Fossil of the Day - COP 24 - 11 December FULL SHOW

We should really talk about that thing. You know, the crisis facing the planet?

It’s important, right? We’ve talked about it a lot already.

Maybe we think so, but there seem to be some who don’t …

Parties agreed at COP23 that the Talanoa Dialogue would be designed to enhance ambition. However, that spirit seemed to have escaped some parties in their interventions in the Talanoa Dialogue events today. There was perhaps no party that seemed so dead set against ambition in Talanoa, than Egypt.

Despite the IPCC findings that current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) put us on track to 3 degrees or more, and the call for urgently scaled up action and targets from the Pre-2020 high level event, Egypt made it clear they had no interest in discussing more ambitious NDCs before 2020.

Even more, they doubled down on their no-ambition strategy, saying there should be no negotiated outcome of Talanoa. Perhaps it has escaped them that we are here at the “climate negotiations” discussing the defining issue of the 21st Century – the shortage of ambition – past, present and future, to address climate change. We need outcomes that commit countries to scale up climate efforts in the pre-2020 AND post-2020 period, not more ducking and weaving to dodge discussion of ambition! No doubt Egypt is torn between its loyalties to the oil-dominated Arab Group and solidarity with its fellow members of the African Group, many of whom are LDCs and extremely vulnerable to climatic disruptions.  But dodging ambition, in any time period, does a disservice to both.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1300 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org 

About Fossil: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations or in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.