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November 29, 2022

COP27 in Egypt: Putting Human Rights on the Climate Agenda

By Arona Baigal and Jocelyn Trainer

Cairo hoped that COP27 would focus on its stated agenda: climate change adaptation. Yet it was human rights concerns—such as jailed pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel Fattah’s hunger strike and rumors of restricted internet access to human rights platforms—that often stole headlines from climate policy or funding pledges. The persistence of human rights coverage demonstrated that Egypt and many other governments fail to recognize that strong governance, human rights protections, and climate change adaptation are mutually reinforcing and have overlapping policy actions.

Climate change discussions have increasingly shifted to climate security, encompassing areas of the world that are vulnerable to political instability, turmoil, and exploitation.

International climate change discussions and actions often are not inclusive of all aspects of human security, such as reliable access to food, water, and shelter. Instead, international attention is geared toward mitigation and the promises of green energy technologies. While mitigation is a critical component of addressing climate change, overlooking human security and climate adaptation needs can result in a fraying social contract, weak governance, and insecurity. Poor and vulnerable populations are most exposed to the dire effects of climate change globally, including loss of life and livelihoods. What happened at COP27 holds lessons not only for Egypt, but for the rest of the planet.

Read the full article from New Security Beat.

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