Enormous Egyptian efforts in the field of green economy development

Key trends in Egypt that were highlighted at COP27 included international partnerships, a circular economy and green finance. Projects included renewable energy, transportation, the Suez Canal, irrigation and drainage, writes Ahmad Abdul-Rahman.

Egypt has made great efforts in the field of green economy development over the past few years. Egypt first took this step in preparation for hosting the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which was held from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh. This comes within the framework of achieving the 11th goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for building sustainable cities and communities.

Egypt's efforts have resulted in the advancement of its classification on climate and global environment indicators, and it has won two international awards for the first green sovereign issuance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with a value of USD750 million.

Other efforts include Egypt's focus on green infrastructure projects, in the fields of transportation and energy. Egypt is now one of the largest producers of clean energy in Africa. The Egyptian government has also adopted the principle of circular economy, which encourages recycling of materials and their introduction into new industries. The cost of green projects for the fiscal year 2022-2023 is targeted to reach EGP 336 billion (USD13.7 billion).

Egypt is working to activate the transition to a sustainable green economy through international partnerships, the most important of which is the Egyptian-Qatari joint strategy with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), for the 2022-2027 period. This strategy includes achieving sustainability, green transformation, and engaging the private sector.

Egypt has established the National Climate Change Council in 2015, which launched the National Climate Change Strategy. It has introduced green bonds and implemented the presidential initiative to replace energy inefficient vehicles with natural gas.

The Egyptian state's efforts in the field of the environment includes coastal protection projects at a cost of EGP4.2 billion, and the establishment of water desalination plants, smart irrigation, and sewage treatment, including the Bahr Al-Baqar plant, the largest of its kind in the world. In the area of transportation, there are several projects such as an electric train, a monorail, and the first environmentally friendly buses, which are manufactured locally.

The Suez Canal is also being transformed into a green channel with the adoption of clean fuels in all its facilities, as well as establishing the first plant to convert 4 million tonnes Metricof waste into 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen, annually, with an investment of USD4 billion. Fifteen memoranda of understanding have also been signed between Egypt and international companies to produce green ammonia and hydrogen, up to 2029, in the economic zone of the Suez Canal.

Egypt is also giving attention to renewable energy generation projects, such as wind and solar, in the Gulf of Suez and Aswan region. Total investment with these projects amounts to USD8.2 billion throughout 2010-2020.

The Egyptian government has also intensified its efforts to empower Egyptian women so that society mitigates the effects of climate change. This includes raising awareness and training women on environmentally friendly farming methods and industries, as well as giving women more employment opportunities. Sharm El-Sheikh has also become a green city; city hospital doctors have been trained to deal with diseases related to climate change, and more than 180 hotels and diving centre have received the green mark- to show that they are green.

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Saturday, 04 February 2023