Activists raise inclusivity concerns for Cop27 as Egypt hikes hotel prices

(Climate Home News, 24 Feb 2022) The participation of activists and low-income country delegates risks being restricted again at this year’s climate talks amid hiked-up hotel prices and the absence of engagement with green groups, campaigners have warned.

The Cop27 climate talks are due to take place in the beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from 7-18 November.

Civil society groups hope the summit, which is expected to spotlight adaptation and resilience, can give a voice to millions of Africans on the frontlines of the climate crisis. But high accommodation costs and concerns over Egypt’s human rights record threatens diverse participation, they warned.

The tourism ministry has established a list of minimum prices hotels should charge for rooms in Sharm el-Sheikh during the UN climate conference.

A letter from the Egyptian Hotel Association to hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh, seen by Climate Home News, sets a price of at least $500 per night for a room in a five-star hotel – nearly five times the usual cost. Rooms in four-star hotels won’t go for less than $350 per night and $120 per night is the floor rate in two-star institutions. One early booker was told they would have to foot a bill of $700 a night.

One Egyptian climate campaigner, who preferred not to be named, told Climate Home News the government was likely seeing an opportunity to capitalise on the summit. “It is indicative that inclusion is not within the government’s priorities or maybe even nor on their agenda,” he said.

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Climate Home News, 24 Feb 2022: Activists raise inclusivity concerns for Cop27 as Egypt hikes hotel prices