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31 Oct 2022

Patrick Greenfield, Guardian (UK)

Egypt: Civil society groups concerned they are being excluded from Cop27 for the security of Govt. officials

"Egypt shuts down event spaces on first Monday of Cop27 in blow to NGOs", 24 Oct 2022

Civil society organisations and governments may have to cancel events at the UN climate summit in November as the Egyptian hosts have tightened security for the opening days...

Many countries and civil society groups have set up pavilions inside the UN-secured “blue zone”, where governments will meet for the leaders’ summit. The pavilions typically host events with scientists, politicians, business leaders, celebrities and campaigners to exchange ideas on key climate issues.

But they have been told that events planned for the opening Monday will have to be cancelled unless they involve visiting heads of state...

NGOs have raised concerns because they have carefully targeted their rosters of events to raise key issues they say must be addressed at the two-week-long conference. They fear the cancellations could restrict debate and undermine the role of non-state actors in the event. Media access to pavilions and other areas within the blue zone is also likely to be heavily restricted...

The Egyptian government said they decided to restrict events on the first day of the world leaders summit due to high number of heads of state and government expected to be present in the pavilion area. There will not be any restrictions the following day on November 8th...

“International UN climate meetings are not just about heads of state and ministers. They are also a space for representatives from the wider climate community to drive progress. The first few days of the climate conference allow for representatives from local governments, corporates and frontline communities to come together in partnership and share ambitious pledges and update action plans...We’re concerned that the shutdown of pavilions during the first day of the summit takes away the critical spaces for this dialogue, stopping events and important discussions that are critical in moving the net zero and nature positive agenda forward.”
James Lloyd, an organiser behind the Nature Positive Pavilion