Macron hears out African youth on sidelines of COP27 summit in Egypt

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French President Emmanuel Macron met with African and French youth representatives engaged in climate-related projects on Monday, before he attended the COP27 summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Macron heard out concerns voiced by youth working in agricultural and energy projects.

As the COP27 climate summit opened in Egypt on Monday, UN climate chief Simon Stiell said concrete action to tackle emissions and climate risks, delayed over decades, could no longer wait as dangerous effects worsen.

In Macron’s discussion with youth, a Gabonese entrepreneur who runs a food production and distribution firm stressed the importance of bolstering support for women.

“It’s a sector essentially held by women, in the rural areas. And so the challenge now is to be able to help these women, to produce better, produce well, and especially to be resilient to climate change,” said Tamarah Moutotekema Boussamba, head of Agridis.

A young activist who is part of the advisory team to the UN Secretary-General said record profits of fossil fuel companies during the energy crisis were “crimes against humanity.”

“The dilemma is that we are dependent (on fossil energy). We are dependent. We are probably very rich, very strong, but we are dependent,” Macron responded, adding that France has pushed for a price cap on gas prices, which some European countries have objected to.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for nations around the world to impose a tax on the windfall profits of fossil-fuel energy firms, which have reported record quarterly profits as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred soaring oil and gas prices.

The money raised could go both to pay for climate loss and damage and to help people struggling with rising food and energy prices, Guterres said, insisting “polluters must pay” for the damage they cause.

27th annual United Nations Conference on Climate Change under way in Egypt: