Calm and spread of security forces in Cairo amid calls for protest

US President Joe Biden stressed, Friday, at the Conference of Parties on Climate in Sharm El-Sheikh that the climate crisis “threatens life on the planet”, pledging to achieve US goals to reduce emissions by 2030.

“The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, national security, and life on the planet,” Biden said in a speech to the annual United Nations Climate Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

He added, stressing that African countries are suffering from the repercussions of climate change, and that the aim of the states’ participation in the summit is to “mobilize the countries of the world to take ambitious climate goals.”

“The United States deals with the issue of climate as an urgent file,” he said, noting that good climate policies are good economic policies, and that Washington will achieve its climate goals by 2030.

$500 million to help Egypt

In this context, Biden announced a $500 million package to help Egypt transition to clean energy, and said, “We have to reduce methane emissions by 30%, which will be necessary to reduce the temperature of the planet.”

In particular, he added, “We want to increase US funding to address climate and food security.”

Then he continued, “We must help countries preserve their forests,” stressing the need to make progress in addressing climate change by the end of this decade.

“It is important that we strengthen our commitments to energy and climate and end our dependence on fossil energy,” he said.

The US president also said that climate institutions confirm that what happened in recent years is exceptional in terms of the intensity of hurricanes, expressing his apologies to the participants for the US withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The former US President, Donald Trump, decided in June 2017 to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, before Biden, who succeeded him in 2020, decided to return Washington to the agreement in February 2021.

The US President’s climate plans were greatly enhanced this year when Congress passed legislation to invest $369 billion in clean energy in the United States.

Biden had said earlier Friday, when meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, that global warming is a “very urgent crisis,” stressing, “We will discuss today a set of bilateral issues, including continuing our dialogue on human rights.”

Dominating the negotiations at the Sharm el-Sheikh conference is the issue of the need to stop the procrastination of rich countries in helping developing countries to make their economies more environmentally friendly and to compensate for the losses and damages they incur due to disasters caused by climate change.

Biden’s lightning visit to Egypt marks the beginning of a week-long tour during which he will participate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cambodia over the weekend before moving to Indonesia to attend the G20 summit.

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