US climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday he hoped the COP27 climate conference would provide energy “to change the world”, as he and officials from 24 African nations held a preparatory meeting in Egypt. The three-day forum comes after African leaders lashed out at industrialised nations for failing to show up at a summit this week in the Dutch city of Rotterdam dedicated to helping African nations adapt to climate impacts. The African continent emits only around three percent of global CO2 emissions, former UN chief Ban Ki-moon noted this week, yet African nations are among those most exposed to climate impacts, notably worsening droughts and floods. “Sharm El-Sheikh can provide the energy we need to change the world,” Kerry said, referring to the Egyptian resort town which will host the crucial November climate conference. But he also warned that the world was “in trouble”, calling climate change “irreversible”. “It costs more not to respond to climate change than to respond,” Kerry said. This week’s forum in Egypt aims to “leverage African leaders’ voices to mobilise greater international support for a green and resilient recovery in Africa”, according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa. It also seeks to drum up funding to help vulnerable countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alongside the US envoy, UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, international organisations, NGOs and private companies are attending the regional meeting in the New Administrative Capital 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Cairo. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said “$800 billion a year is needed to mitigate climate change from now until 2050”.