CAIRO: The threat to the Egyptian port city of Alexandria from rising sea levels was a topic of discussion for the second year in a row at a climate summit.
However, this year, at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, talks were preceded by a song performed by Lebanese singer Fairuz in the documentary “Shatt Alexandria,” which highlights the fears Alexandria’s residents hold for their city’s future.
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the 2021 Glasgow climate summit that a global increase of 4 C “means we say goodbye to whole cities — Miami, Alexandria, Shanghai. All lost beneath the waves.”
Some took his statement as a joke, though it contained nothing new.
Previous studies have warned of the growing threat to Egypt’s second-largest city from climate change.
The documentary featured an Egyptian photographer who said that she has already seen some places disappear, while water levels are rising in other areas.
“When I hear that Alexandria will sink one day, I feel terrified,” she said.
Another resident said: “Alexandria is my home, and we have been talking about climate change for years. It is time for the world to take a serious look at this issue.”
Egyptian authorities and civil society activists are doing exactly that.
Abdel Wahed, a climate activist, told Arab News: “Over the past months, the Alexandria Governorate has been keen to take a number of measures, foremost of which is adopting and sponsoring all initiatives that limit the effects of climate change.”
An “Alexandria without plastic bags” initiative was also launched in a bid to cut waste from single-use plastic bags.
Campaigns to clean beaches have been stepped up in cooperation with civil society institutions, he said.
Maj. Gen. Mohamed El-Sherif, governor of Alexandria, said in media statements on the sidelines of COP27 events that Alexandria “is one of the most important areas exposed to risks as a result of climate change.”
International research has classified Alexandria as the No. 5 city in the world threatened by rising sea levels, he added.