Looking to COP27 with Heba Rabie and Gihan Montaser

This week, political and business leaders from all over the world are gathering in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt for the COP27 climate summit.

In the year since COP26 in Glasgow, expectation has been growing for governments to take strong action in the face of an urgent climate threat.

While just 24 of 193 countries have so far fulfilled promises to implement stronger climate goals, there is hope that this climate conference will encourage concrete action and implementation of well-intentioned goals.

At Lekela, we are pleased to be playing a role in this year’s event through our work with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and its Global Wind Energy Coalition for COP27.

Today, we’re hearing from Gihan Montaser and Heba Rabie – two of our Lekela colleagues in Egypt who have been working closely with GWEC and who will be attending COP27.

Read on below for some of their hopes for the important event, and details on how they’re making a difference...

How are you getting involved with COP27 this year?

Heba: My role is as Lekela’s representative to the GWEC Coalition, which involves working closely with the Council on its Wind Are You In? campaign in the lead up to COP27. It’s been a great opportunity for me to understand the broader wind industry’s interests, and how we can campaign for these at COP to help the industry grow. I’m also attending COP from 7th – 14th November, and I am looking forward to being involved in meaningful discussions.

Gihan: I am on a secondment from Lekela to GWEC to support with COP and the work GWEC is doing with various stakeholders. Throughout my placement I had the opportunity to work with governments and on PR activities. I’m looking forward to supporting the GWEC team further throughout COP itself!

What outcomes are you hoping for from this year’s conference?

Heba: I have been following COP for many years, and hope that this year, COP moves from pledges to action and implementation. The climate crisis is no longer a theory that can be debated, but an issue that we are all witnessing first hand. I would like to see sincere action to be taken to ensure that governments and the private sector take meaningful steps to make the large-scale rollout of renewables a reality.

I also hope, with this being an African COP, that Africa gets the attention and support needed to encourage more renewable energy investments across the continent. Africa has huge potential for wind and solar power, and I hope COP27 sheds light on this.

Gihan: I hope that wind power becomes more prominent in negotiations and climate discussions, and that we can attract more investment to the sector – the more we can do to educate stakeholders on wind power and its importance, the better! I also would like COP this year to help showcase how Egypt is a leader in Africa on wind power.

Why do you think this is an important event for wind power and renewable energy more broadly?

Heba: This is an extremely important event for the renewable energy sector, as the large-scale rollout of renewables is one of the main tools we have to mitigate climate change. Through GWEC’s Coalition and the wind pavilion, we are representing the voice of the wind industry, and we need to make sure this voice Is heard. This is also an important event for bringing together all stakeholders, from policy makers, the private sector and financial institutions.

Gihan: COP is an opportunity for countries to commit to strong climate action, so it’s important we showcase wind power and all its benefits, particularly as it is one of two technologies (alongside solar) that can have the most impact on developing a sustainable energy mix for Egypt and other countries around the world.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about what you’re looking forward to at COP?

Heba: As an Egyptian, I am looking forward to witnessing the important role the Egyptian government will play at this year's COP. I can’t wait to hear (and see!) the announcements and commitments made on actions towards both climate adaptation and climate mitigation. Egypt has been setting optimistic strategies for renewable energy and I expect to see more of this this year.

Gihan: COP this year will focus on implementation, so hopefully we will see words put into action and financial commitments actualised. As an Egyptian, I am very proud that my country is holding this year’s conference, hosting representatives from around the world in Sharm-el-Sheikh. I am really looking forward to being part of my country's success and representing the many women who work in our industry.

We’re pleased that Lekela has such a strong presence at this year’s conference in the Blue Zone. We’ll be using our presence to help shine a spotlight on renewable energy in Africa and the role it, and we, can play in creating solutions to the world’s climate crisis. Lekela’s  CEO Chris Antonopoulos and Egypt General Manager Faisal Eissa will also be speaking at a number of events over the next two weeks. Keep up to date with what we’re doing at COP on our LinkedIn!