It has become official that COP27 will be held this November in Egypt. Although some may have thought the Green Party of Egypt would have taken this opportunity to have their voices heard, they have chosen to do the opposite. The Green Party of Egypt has officially stated that they are boycotting COP27.
What is COP27?
Every year, signatory governments of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) come together to discuss the most pressing environmental issues, mainly regarding biodiversity, climate change, and desertification.
Many of the Conference of Party (COP) principles focus on openness and doing what is right and needed for both the planet and the population. When news got out that COP27 was happening in Egypt, many worried that the current Egyptian government did not align with these principles.
Why is the Green Party of Egypt Boycotting?
Egypt hosting COP27 has become very controversial. In recent years, the Egyptian government has had many human rights issues and has actively tried to limit the power of the Green Party. Critics have gone so far as to wonder whether or not the event will be successful due to the repressive nature of the government.
Mona Seif, an Egyptian human rights activist, took to her social media to say that “human rights and climate justice are interlinked”. She claims that the majority of the people who care about climate change are being wrongfully prosecuted and sent to prison, while the rest are too scared to speak up. She states this should not be the political environment surrounding COP27.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has estimated that there are approximately 65 000 political prisoners behind bars in Egypt. Human Rights Watch has confirmed that thousands of people are being prosecuted without a fair trial.
With these issues being brought to light in recent weeks, the world is questioning whether Egypt is capable of providing an inclusive and safe environment for COP27. The Green Party of Egypt does not believe it can.
“Participatory democracy, non-violence, and respect for diversity are key Global Greens Principles. The decision to hold COP27 in Egypt, where there are significant human rights abuses, and restrictions on civil society and political space, has severe implications for positive action on climate change and social justice.”Global Greens Statement
The Green Party understands that in order to bring change, all voices must be heard without fear. This is not the current situation in Egypt, and until it is, the Green Party is going to fight.
Unfortunately, there is no solution for the government of Egypt’s human rights violations before COP27. The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, urges us to focus on the matter at hand; climate change. He continues to say that as many world leaders as possible have the duty of being present and to take part in COP27. Doing so will remind the world of the importance of climate action.