CAIRO, 19th October, 2023 (WAM) — Egypt is taking climate change seriously. The country has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing carbon emissions and has taken significant steps across different sectors to achieve this goal. Toward this end, the North African nation has mobilised significant investments from both the government and the private sector to support its efforts to reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
In this report, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) sheds extensive light on Egypt’s strong commitment to addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions, including the measures taken by the government of Egypt across various fronts to mobilise significant investments from divergent resources to support its efforts to combat climate change.
Egypt has always been keen on raising climate change challenges at meetings, negotiations, and climate change conferences in line with its commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Kyoto Protocol. Egypt has also been consistent in stressing the need to avoid politicising this issue and directing it against the interests of developing countries.
Ironically enough, Egypt is one of the countries most vulnerable to the risks of climate change impacts, though it’s one of the world’s lowest emitters of greenhouse gases. A fact that manifests itself in the country working collaboratively with other nations to find solutions as per its strategy in this concern:
-Exchange of information: Egypt aims to cooperate with the international community to accurately assess the dimensions of climate change and evaluate its environmental impact.
-Public awareness: Egypt seeks to raise public awareness about the phenomenon and its economic ramifications.
-Domestic capabilities: Egypt intends to enhance its domestic capabilities to effectively address climate change, develop policies and programmes across all sectors for climate adaptation, and activate international financial and technical assistance programmes as well as technology transfer.
-Egypt aims to engage with associations and non-governmental organisations in its climate change efforts.
Within this context, Egypt has implemented a range of measures to address climate change, including:
-Ratifying the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994, the Kyoto Protocol in 2005 and Paris Agreement in 2016.
-Developing a National Action Plan for Climate Change.
-Promoting energy efficiency projects.
-Executing beach protection initiatives.
-Collaborating with development partners to establish specialised research institutes.
-Actively implementing multiple projects in the field of new and renewable energies.
Egypt has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions in the electricity generation, transmission, and distribution sector by approximately 69.9 million tonnenes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030. The government aims to achieve this target through its sustainable energy strategy, which aims to increase the contribution of new and renewable energy sources and install additional capacity to reach a 29% contribution by 2030 and a 42% contribution by 2035 of the total electricity generation capacity.
Egypt has a comprehensive renewable energy strategy that aims to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. The strategy includes a blend of renewable energy sources, with Egypt aiming to generate 14.6% of its energy from wind, 11.8% from solar photovoltaic energy, 7.6% from concentrated solar power, and 3.2% from hydroelectric energy.
The Egyptian government is also pursuing ambitious programmes to introduce new alternative energy sources such as green hydrogen, blue hydrogen, and nuclear energy. The government has launched a comprehensive energy policy reform programme that includes a gradual reduction of energy subsidies and the promotion of renewable energy investment through the Renewable Energy Law.
In the 2019/2020 period, the total installed capacity for wind and solar power reached around 3,016 megawatts, marking a 340% increase from 2015/2016. The total renewable energy capacity, including hydroelectric power, in 2019/2020 amounted to approximately 5,848 megawatts.
A standout achievement is the Benban Solar Energy Park in Aswan Governorate, boasting a capacity of 1,465 megawatts. This solar park received the World Bank’s annual award for the best global infrastructure development project and the Arab Government Excellence Award in its inaugural cycle (2019-2020) in the category of the best infrastructure development project in the Arab world.
In the oil and gas sector, Egypt announced in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution report in July 2022 a goal to reduce emissions by 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030. This reduction is equivalent to a 77% decrease in emissions compared to the business-as-usual scenario if no actions are taken. This aligns with the comprehensive transformation programme being implemented in the oil and gas sector.
Egypt’s petroleum sector initiated the Oil and Gas Sector Modernization Project in 2016, which included the implementation of low-cost energy efficiency measures by 31 companies and the establishment of over 850 natural gas refueling stations as low-emission fuel alternatives.
The country also aims to recover and utilise associated gases generated from crude oil fields. Egypt is working to connect natural gas pipelines to households, improving citizens’ living standards by providing access to low-emission, clean fuel. Efforts are underway to produce alternative green fuels, such as the annual extraction of 350,000 tonnes of algae oil for use in biofuel production and the annual generation of 100,000 tonnes of bioethanol.
Egypt is a leading example of how developing countries can take concrete steps to combat climate change, while also pursuing economic development and improving the lives of their citizens. The country’s commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency is particularly noteworthy. Egypt’s experiences and lessons learned can provide valuable guidance to other developing countries.