Egypt prepares to host the UN climate change summit

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The United States and Egypt on Monday launched a joint work group to prepare for the next U.N. climate change summit which the Middle Eastern country will host in November, the American envoy for climate said.

U.S. envoy John Kerry said the group's main task is working on the COP27 conference in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

He said Egypt has already taken many steps in the preparation for the summit.

Kerry said other world tensions, including the ongoing Ukraine crisis, "... does not change the reality of what is happening every day with respect to our climate. That is a national, international threat for all of us."

He spoke at a news conference in Cairo along with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry. Neither official took questions from reporters.

Kerry, who landed in the Egyptian capital on Sunday, is also scheduled to speak at the American University in Cairo on the future of international climate action in the lead up to COP27, the State Department said.

The American envoy said that the U.S. was also working with the Egyptian government on its own transition to have a clean energy future.

"There are no politics in this. There is no ideology in this. This is not anything to do with some of the issues (of concern for the U.S. administration)," he said.

Kerry, who was a secretary of state in the Obama administration, was referring to conflicts in the Middle East and probably Egypt's human rights record, which draws criticism from the U.S. and other western governments.

In June, Kerry announced an increase in the U.S. funding to help Egypt convert to solar energy and move away from fossil fuels, a major source of energy in the country of over 100 million people.

In recent years, the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has taken steps to convert to renewables, seizing advantage of the country's optimal solar and wind conditions for energy harvesting.

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