Flemish environment minister Zuhal Demir will not physically attend the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, citing concerns about the host country’s lack of response to its dire human rights situation, according to the Brussels Times. Demir cited Human Rights Watch reports that stressed that the human rights situation in Egypt is getting worse. Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III would not attend the climate conference.
Naomi Klein, Professor of Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia, has said that the Egyptian regime seeks to greenwash its image by using the issue of the environment. In an article for the Guardian, Klein described the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference as a “masquerade,” noting that Sisi’s Egypt is making a big show of solar panels and biodegradable straws ahead of next month’s climate summit – but in reality, the regime imprisons activists and bans research. Klein criticized Egypt’s human rights record, focusing on the case of imprisoned political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, who has been on hunger strike for more than 200 days. Estimates speak of more than 60 thousand political prisoners in Egypt.
The Egyptian government has hired a notorious public relations company to assist in planning its hosting of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, according to information released by OpenDemocracy on Friday. The global public relations consulting company has a disgraceful record of spreading disinformation and working with oil companies. Yet, it was hired by the Egyptian government to help organize COP27, according to the independent media platform. From November 7 to 18, Egypt will host the climate summit. Hill+Knowlton Strategies has worked with ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron Corporation and Saudi Aramco. Coca-Cola is also among the sponsors of COP27, despite being one of the world’s largest plastic producers.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization, told OpenDemocracy that Hill+Knowlton Strategies has a disgraceful record of spreading disinformation on behalf of oil companies.