Egypt silenced climate experts’ voices before hosting Cop27, HRW says

(The Guardian, 14 Oct 2022) Failure to address country’s abuses will obstruct rollout of meaningful climate action, director of Human Rights Watch says.

The Egyptian regime has successfully silenced the country’s independent environmentalists in the run-up to hosting this year’s UN climate talks, as part of a wider strategy to repress human rights that also threatens to derail meaningful global climate action, according to a leading advocate.

In an interview with the Guardian, Richard Pearshouse, environment director at Human Rights Watch, said failing to address abuses by Egypt and other authoritarian regimes will obstruct the rollout of ambitious climate policies needed to transition away from fossil fuels and curtail global heating.

“It will be a fundamental mistake if diplomats go to Cop27 thinking they need to go softly softly on human rights in order to make progress in the climate talks. We will not get the urgent climate action needed without civil society pressure, the situation in Egypt shows us that.

“Human rights versus climate action is a false debate, it’s not either or. We need people in the streets, independent environmentalists and human rights activists, strategic litigation and independent courts to generate change,” said Pearshouse.

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The Guardian, 14 Oct 2022: Egypt silenced climate experts’ voices before hosting Cop27, HRW says