25 February 2024 05:31 PM

Egypt and the Climate Issue

Monday، 06 November 2023 - 11:46 PM

Egypt is committed to deliver its fair share of climate actions as part of the efforts to address climate change. Taking into consideration Egypt’s high vulnerability, adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change is an imperative.

Egypt prepared its first National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011, as well as the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) in 2018. Now the Egyptian National Climate Change Council (NCCC) requested the development of the first comprehensive national climate change strategy until 2050.

The National Climate Change Strategy effectively addresses the impacts of climate change which contributes to improving the quality of life for Egyptian citizens, achieving sustainable development and economic growth, preserving natural resources and ecosystems, and strengthening Egypt’s climate leadership at the international level.

Strategic Goals

Achieving sustainable and low-emission economic growth in key economic sectors

Enhancing resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change, and alleviating the associated negative impacts

Enhancing climate change action governance and management

Enhancing climate financing infrastructure

Enhancing scientific research, technology transfer, knowledge management, and awareness to combat climate change

Strategic Direction

Ensure integrated planning between different national and sectoral strategies

Maintain climate actions into national planning

Integrate sustainability criteria and green recovery into national planning and budgeting

Integrate climate adaptation and resilience in infrastructure projects

Utilize finance opportunities under UNFCCC, Paris Agreement, and other climate-related sources

Capitalize on existing infrastructure to implement new projects related to climate change, e.g., utilizing existing modernized and enlarged energy grid for powering electric vehicles

Foster market competitiveness, economic diversity, and creation of green jobs

Strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation with countries, international finance institutions and specialized agencies in areas of common interest

Egypt's Vision in the Climate Issue

- All state-implemented projects, such as roads, energy, renewable energy, solid waste and sewage, are national projects closely related to adaptation and dealing with climate change.

- The importance of the role that Egypt plays as regards the international movements related to climate issues. Such a role began with the 2015 Paris Summit. Moreover, the Paris Agreement consolidated for several principles, the first of which is diligence to adapt to climate changes by reducing emissions and lowering global temperature, provided that this comes in consistence with the collective responsibility.

- All countries should bear responsibility as they bear the burdens, as without that collective responsibility which Egypt assumes, as the Egyptian citizen will be affected with the impact of the various development paths.

- If all countries do not address the danger of climate change, everyone will be affected. At the same time, if huge commitments are imposed on developing countries, then their development paths will be affected.

President El-Sisi Participates in 'Heads of State and Government on Climate Change'                                

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi participated in the “Heads of State and Government on Climate Change” meeting on 9/20/2021, via video conference, on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and with the participation of a group of heads of state and government around the world and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.   

The President’s participation came in light of the beginning of a new phase in the field of international climate action, as the negative repercussions of climate change are becoming a threat to humanity.     

During the meeting, President El-Sisi stressed the importance of the developed countries assuming their responsibilities in reducing emissions as an implementation of their international commitments within the framework of the Paris Agreement and the Framework Convention on Climate Change, especially with the recent large-scale forest fires witnessed in various regions around the world; which confirmed that climate change has become a terrifying reality that calls for  Immediate action to confront it.            

El-Sisi had also stressed on the need to seriously deal with any unilateral measure that contribute to the exacerbation of the consequences of climate change, foremost of which is the construction of dams on international rivers without reaching an agreement with the downstream countries as regards the rules of their filling and operation. This comes within the framework of the efforts of dealing with the issues of adaptation to climate change, which represents a very important aspect in the international climate action and a top priority for the developing countries, especially Africa which suffers from the most severe repercussions of this phenomenon; represented in water scarcity, drought, desertification and a threat to food security.

President El-Sisi pointed to the importance of working towards reaching tangible results in the coming session of the UN Conference on Climate Change, under the presidency of the United Kingdom, October 2021, as regards financing the climate action and mechanisms, especially what is related with the efforts of adaptation and the Green Climate Fund, in a manner that would enhance the climate action in the developing countries and alleviate their burdens in this respect  especially in light of the current gap in finance between the needs of those countries to fulfill their commitments and what is actually available.

President El-Sisi declared Egypt's aspiration to host the 27th Summit of Climate Change in 2022 on behalf of the African Continent, stressing that Egypt will work on making this session a radical transformation point in the climate action with the participation of all parties, in favor of the African Continent and the Whole World.

Egypt's Pivotal Role in facing the Effect of Climate Change and Unifying the African Front

The Egyptian political leadership believes that Egypt is an integral part of the Arab area and the African continent, thus it should perform a pivotal role in facing the effects of climate change and unifying the African front.

Egypt effortlessly works on enhancing the efforts of facing the climate change. This comes within a series of bilateral meetings that are supposed to be held on the sidelines of the preliminary consultations before the 26th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, hosted by the Italian government in cooperation with the British government during the period September 30- October 2, 2021.

Egypt asked to be a representative to Africa. in this vein, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi launched Africa Renewable Energy Initiative in Paris Conference, 2015, where Egypt is currently representing North Africa. In this vein, a committee related to climate change was formed of the African presidents. It is well known that the main reason behind climate change is the intensifying amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere; the gas which is emitted from the burn of petroleum and coal.

Egypt is exerting strenuous efforts as regards combating climate change and global warming. This includes for example the efforts of turning cars to work with natural gas, which has fewer emissions than benzene, in addition to performing pioneering experiments in the field of renewable energy from the sun and winds, and establishing Benban project for solar energy. Moreover, the military factories produce solar cells due to its high exportation cost. Such experiments and projects can be exported to African countries. Egypt also manufactures the electrical car which will not need fossil fuel and can also export it to African countries. Furthermore, Egypt asked for hosting the climate change conference in 2022.

The role of Egypt in combating climate change has grown in the African continent through the two initiatives of President El-Sisi in the 21st Summit on Climate Change in 2015 that has been held in Paris, where he launched the Africa Adaptation Initiative and the African imitative of renewable Energy. The first Initiative included the sectors of agriculture, irrigation, water resources, tourism, industry, in addition to all other fields in which the adverse effects of climate change are disrupted. Such measures include a list of protective projects in such sectors, which need a huge international support. This was the first initiative to adapt with the repercussions of climate change. this includes for example the zones which face drought, thus introducing crops that can face draught. In the field of water resources, projects for waste storage and recycle should be implemented, in addition to projects for facing floods, winds and hurricanes. This initiative provided the resources for such measures which protect the African countries from the repercussions of climate change.

The second imitative concerning the renewable energy includes implementing a certain kind of projects that fight climate change from its roots; prevents the production of the global warming gases from the beginning. It includes the establishment of photovoltaic solar cell stations with a total capacity of 10,000 megawatts till 2020. This has actually been implemented in five African countries till 2020. The voltage of such stations is supposed to increase to 300,000 megawatt by 2030.

Egypt equips and supports the African countries with the necessary expertise, efficiencies and experiences which it gained since 1984, since it laid the first strategy for renewable energy along 30 years in favor of the African countries. Egypt has centers for training the African working force in the field of renewable energy, in addition to offering grants for the African poor countries.

On the international level, Egypt fully abides by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It also has national strategies on climate change, rationalizing energy, new and renewable energy, in addition to the means of optimal handling to the wastes.

The 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27)

In November 2022, the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt hosted the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27), with a view to building on previous successes and paving the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change.

Outcomes of the un climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh

• historic adoption of new funding arrangements for assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in responding to loss and damage (L&D), including establishing a fund for responding to L&D

• operationalization of the Santiago Network for L&D, which will further the work of the Warsaw International Mechanism for L&D by providing a platform for countries and organizations to identify opportunities to match and mobilize technical assistance to address L&D

• adoption of a mitigation work programme to scale up Parties’ mitigation ambition and implementation before 2030

• launch of the first “work programme on just transition” to discuss pathways to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, including high-level ministerial roundtables starting at COP28

• call for shareholders of multilateral development banks (MDBs) and international financial institutions “to reform practices and priorities, align and scale up funding ... and encourage MDBs to define a new vision that is fit for the purpose of addressing the global climate emergency”

• agreement on a long-term, structured effort to help countries achieve and to review progress toward the Paris Agreement’s global goal on adaptation, to be adopted at COP28

• launch of the Sharm el-Sheikh dialogue on making finance flows consistent with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development

• agreement on further sessions in 2023 in preparation for the consideration of outputs of the global stock take at COP28

• adoption of Article 6 reporting and review outlines, as well as formats key to the operationalization of international emissions trading

• agreement on establishing interim reporting arrangements on internationally traded mitigation outcomes under Article 6 until the reporting platform becomes operational in 2025

• adoption of direction and timeline of the initial four-year work program for the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture and establishment of its online portal

• launch of the first Technology Mechanism joint work program (2023–27) to promote climate technology solutions in developing countries

• over 70 sectoral outcomes and initiatives by non-Party stakeholders, with a strong focus on accelerating action and enhancing accountability.

In addition to the significant adoptions of L&D funding arrangements, MWP, and operationalization of the Santiago Network for L&D, COP27 is notable for other firsts:

• references to low-emission energy systems, food, rivers, nature-based solutions, the cryosphere, and tipping points, as well as the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment

• recognition of the investment and the “transformation of the financial system and its structures” needed for the global transformation to a low-carbon economy and implementation of the Bridgetown Initiative—a call for MDBs and international financial institutions to reform their practices and priorities and define a new vision to address the “global climate emergency”

• the launch of a dialogue focused on aligning financial flows with the Paris Agreement’s global temperature targets

• the launch of a “work programme on just transition” that includes annual high-level ministerial round tables

• the recognition of just energy transition partnerships as an example of a “cooperative approach” for cutting emissions.

“Loss and Damage” Fund

20 November 2022 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 closed with a breakthrough agreement to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters.

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