On December 12th, following two weeks of intense global climate negotiations, representatives of 195 nations reached the historical Paris Agreement. It paves the way for an increasingly sustainable future by reducing global CO2 emissions and limiting temperature rise to ‘well below’ 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 through a legallybinding agreement for all countries. The Paris Agreement delineates the future of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in 2020 and has been officially signed by 177 nations thus far. Historically, Africa is the continent which has contributed the least to atmospheric pollution, and it continues to be responsible for the least global emissions (estimated at 4%). Despite how little they contributed to anthropogenic emissions, Egypt and the rest of the continent are highly vulnerable to the impacts of long term climate variability and extreme weather events. Reduced water availability, changing rain patterns, sea level rise, desertification and frequent heatwaves are dire challenges Africa and Egypt already grapple with, and which seriousness is bound to increase in the near future. So what are the main outcomes of the Paris agreement for Egypt and for the African continent? What are the priorities in terms of mitigation, adaptation and climate finance until 2020 and beyond? How is the continent preparing for this massive sustainable development plan? Our panel of experts from Germany and Egypt will give us their informed opinions about the steps being taken by policy makers, NGOs and governments to embark on this exciting and unavoidable stage if the world is set on limiting rising temperatures and safeguarding life.
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