The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, held a bilateral meeting with the European Union Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, during her participation in the activities of the Egypt-European Union 10th Association Council in Brussels.
Al-Mashat said that the Ministry of International Cooperation signed a declaration of intent for the Arab Republic of Egypt to join the Blue Mediterranean Partnership initiative, which enhances the benefit of financing opportunities for blue economy projects, during the activities of COP28.
The Blue Mediterranean Partnership is considered Med Partnership and is a joint platform for countries and international financial institutions that provides technical support for preparing and formulating projects and providing grants, within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean Working Group for the Blue Economy with the countries of Spain and Sweden, the European Union the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The initiative was announced during the activities of COP27 in Egypt last year, with the aim of establishing a Mediterranean partnership for the countries of the Mediterranean, to support the development of a sustainable blue economy in the countries neighbouring the European Union in the Mediterranean region.
Additionally, a memorandum of understanding was signed regarding the strategic partnership between Egypt and the European Union, during COP27, to cooperate in the field of production, consumption and trade of green hydrogen and its derivatives, noting that the ongoing cooperation with the EBRD -the main development partner in the energy pillar within the programme- as well as the EIB -the main development partner in the sustainable transport pillar-.
Al-Mashat stressed the existence of many international partnerships that would protect the ecosystem, including the USAID’s support of the Egyptian government in its efforts to preserve the Red Sea as a sustainable tourist destination, through a contribution from the US government worth $15 million to implement the project “Egyptian Red Sea Initiative” which will be implemented through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in cooperation with the United Nations Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR).
The project aims to protect coral reefs in the Red Sea and the surrounding coastal ecosystem from the impacts of climate change and human activity, in addition to empowering local communities to lead climate action. It also creates a blended financing mechanism to support companies in building resilience to climate change and reducing emissions, job creation, and strengthening partnerships with private companies and other donors to raise $50 million in total funding.
The meeting witnessed an emphasis on the distinguished relationship between Egypt and the European Union in the field of supporting the green transition and the just transition to renewable energy. In this regard, Al-Mashat confirmed Egypt’s keenness to increase the proportion of renewable energy to the level of 42% of total energy by 2030, in accordance with the update of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which was approved by the Council of Ministers last year, noting that Egypt is moving forward in cooperation with the European Union and international partners to implement ambitious projects in this regard, especially through the NWFE program.
H.E. stated that, through the ongoing program with the European Union for cooperation in the period from 2021-2027, Egypt is looking forward to more joint work to implement the first priority of the program related to achieving green and sustainable development by supporting climate action, diversifying energy sources, and the energy transition towards climate neutrality, support integrated management of water and natural resources, promote sustainable food systems, and promote sustainable growth and climate-resilient investments.
Al-Mashat also invited the European Union Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries to visit Egypt and inspect many projects funded by development partners in many sectors, including solid waste, biodiversity, and green transformation, as well as to discuss future cooperation through which many projects and programs can be financed to protect the environment.
For his part, the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries of the European Union, Virginijus Sinkevičius, highlighted the efforts made by the two sides to implement projects in many fields, including green transformation, circular economy, biodiversity, and agriculture, which would intensify efforts to reduce pollution and mitigate, and reducing the severity of climate change, adapting to it, and protecting nature.
It is worth noting that, during the activities of the Engagement Council between Egypt and the European Union, Al-Mashat presented a recent report entitled “A Shared Development Vision for Progress and Prosperity,” which included a presentation of Egyptian-European partnerships over a period of 4 years.
Al-Mashat explained that in confirmation of these relations, international partnerships with the Team Europe initiative, through development financing, amounted to about $12.8 billion for the government and private sectors over 4 years, with $7.3 billion for the government sector and $5.5 billion for the private sector, which resulted in attracting investments from European companies in priority sectors, adding that these funds were directed to priority sectors throughout the country, led by sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy and electricity, food security, health and education, sustainable transport, water and sanitation networks, and small and medium enterprises, environment, solid waste management, women’s empowerment, and other programs.
To Read the Ministry of International Cooperation’s report on the partnership with Team Europe: https://moic.gov.eg/page/egypt-team-europe