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Britain and Egypt Agree on Climate Initiatives Ahead of Climate Summit

As Egypt prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 in November, Britain and Egypt have announced several new initiatives on climate change that feature partnerships between institutions in both countries.

The British Embassy and the British Council in Cairo announced the agreements during an event called “150 Days to Go” at the embassy on June 8.

Among the agreements, the embassy announced that the United Kingdom was signing a guarantee agreement with the African Development Bank to unlock up to $2 billion in “climate finance”. The financing will support projects that seek to mitigate or adapt to climate change across Africa, with a portion of the money dedicated to Egypt.

Higher-Education Climate Partnerships

Among the projects announced, the British Council said it would invest some $588,000 in Higher Education Climate Partnerships that support collaborations between U.K. and Egyptian universities.

At the same event, the British Council, which is the U.K.’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, announced new projects in Egypt under its Climate Connection programme. That programme aims to bring people around the world together to meet the challenges of climate change through partnerships, projects, educational resources and policy dialogues.

Emphasising the vital role that education plays in combatting the climate crisis, the British Council also announced that it would invest 11 million Egyptian pounds (about $588,000) in Higher Education Climate Partnerships, which will support collaborations between U.K. and Egyptian universities.

The British Council also announced that it was making available more climate resources for teachers and students. These resources will be part of the council’s teacher-training offer to 10,000 teachers in Egypt, and part of an effort to train one million “climate ambassadors” across Egypt and Africa, in partnership with Ain Shams University.

The council also announced a number of opportunities for bringing artists, filmmakers, academics, and young people into the climate debate.

Gareth Bayley, the British ambassador to Egypt, announced a green-energy collaboration between a British company, Petrofac, and an Egypt-based company, Mediterranean Energy Partners (MEP). The companies will study the feasibility of a “green hydrogen to ammonia” facility in Egypt. The goal is for the facility to produce 125,000 tonnes of green ammonia a year for export, using a mix of solar and wind energy.

Seeking Scientific Solutions

The U.N. Climate Change Conference 2022 is set to run from November 7 to 18 in Sharm el-Sheikh, on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The event is called COP27 because it will be the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Speaking at the British Embassy event on Wednesday, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s minister of higher education and scientific research, said Egypt hoped that COP27 would result in more efficient and decisive measures to head off the worst effects of climate change.

Abdel Ghaffar also stressed the important role that universities and research institutions play in confronting climate change and its consequences through activities that seek to provide scientific solutions and use them in the best possible way.

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He also praised the British Council’s work in raising awareness of the UNFCCC, especially articles that deal with research, monitoring, education and training. He said he hoped these efforts would result in achieving a sustainable future that guarantees a better life for future generations.

Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s minister of environment, thanked the British Embassy and the British Council for their support in organising the conference. “COP27 will be a COP for implementation,” she said. “This means action on the ground.”

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