Egypt's success in hosting the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27) will bring many benefits for it.
It represents an opportunity to open up prospects for international cooperation, provides the necessary funding for projects addressing climate change, creates more international and regional investment opportunities, and enhances Egypt's presence in major international forums.
The COP27 summit, which is scheduled to be held in Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022, will shed light on Egypt's pivotal role at the international and regional levels, especially in light of its leading efforts for greater climate action on the African continent, in order to ensure the demands of African and developing countries will be unified with regard to issues of financing and adaptation to impacts of climate change.
Egypt has intensified its efforts to address climate change, exemplified by the launch of the National Climate Change Strategy as well as the country's transition plan to a green economy.
Green economy and inclusive development
The green economy has recently topped the global policies, given its important role in facing climate changes, as it is driven by public and private investments that promote innovation, and is committed to reducing carbon emissions and pollutants, and enhancing the efficiency of energy resources.
Egypt has begun to focus on the green economy as an important and main means of the country's comprehensive development plans
The country's sustainable development strategy (Egypt Vision 2030) targeted the environmental dimension as the main aspect in all its development and economic sectors
Egypt’s vision for sustainable development is consistent with the international vision, as it aims to accelerate economic growth rates, reduce pressures on the environment and natural resources, and ensure a fair distribution of wealth among the various segments of society, which leads to alleviating burdens and preventing problems from being passed on to future generations.
COP27 will focus on financing and investment opportunities across various sectors while working to strengthen public-private partnerships and achieve sustainability and green growth.
The Egyptian government has carried out many structural and legislative reforms since 2016 to attract eco-friendly investments and introduced new laws that opened previously inaccessible sectors such as the national electricity grid and waste management.
All government projects have an environmental dimension, despite the country's contribution to only 1% of global greenhouse emissions.
The government aims also to make its budget 100% environmentally friendly by 2030
The green bonds
Egypt has become the first African country in the Middle East and North Africa region to issue green bonds worth $750 million, with a view to financing new and innovative green projects, waste management, green transportation, and renewable energy. Local banks also have made specialized departments that deal with eco-friendly financing.
The Sovereign Fund of Egypt has participated in many investment projects that promote renewable energy, especially green hydrogen, water resource, and waste management in line with the One Planet Summit Sovereign Wealth Fund Coalition (OPSWF).
In addition, a ministerial committee has been formed to formulate a set of economic incentives to promote the green transition of the private sector in Egypt.
Several projects are being implemented to enhance Egypt’s ability to adapt to climate change, including projects to protect the northern coasts from rising sea levels and a 1.5 million fedans land rehabilitation and reclamation project to achieve food security and compensate for land erosion in the Nile Delta.
In addition to the project to rehabilitate and renew the national network of water canals within the framework of modernizing traditional irrigation methods and improving the efficiency of water resource use.
National Climate Change Strategy
In May, Egypt launched the first national climate change strategy 2050, which aims to address the repercussions of climate change and preserve natural resources and ecosystems while strengthening the country's leadership at the international level in the field of climate change.
The strategy was prepared with the participation of all concerned parties, taking advantage of the experiences of previous countries with similar conditions, and while linking its objectives with those in Egypt Vision 2030, especially the third sub-goal, which is facing the challenges of climate change in a way that supports the achievement of economic and development goals.
Egyptian preparations for COP27 Summit
Egypt intensified its preparations to host the climate summit at all levels, as the government formed a higher committee that included a group of concerned ministers, in addition to launching the national dialogue on climate change from Sharm El-Sheikh.
It has also implemented a number of projects concerned with the environment file, most notably: the project of replacing old means of transportation with modern ones that run on natural gas instead of gasoline, and reviewing the environmental law.
Egypt submitted the updated report of the nationally determined contributions to the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to implement the national strategy under the Paris Agreement 2015, which included: energy policy reforms, increasing the contribution of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, sustainable transport, in addition to solid waste management and green finance.
The Ministry of Transport also announced receiving 20 natural gas buses and another contract to purchase 30 e-buses as part of the implementation of a green smart transport system in Sharm El Sheikh.
On the level of government initiatives to support climate action, Egypt has launched several initiatives to support green transformation and raise awareness of the dangers of climate change, including the “Prepare for Green” initiative.
Several governorates have also organized workshops to raise community awareness of climate change issues and the importance of Egypt hosting the summit within the framework of the initiative “Our country is hosting COP27”
Moreover, Al-Azhar also announced the launch of the “Our Climate .. Our Life” initiative in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment to encourage public participation in facing the global challenges of climate change, as well as raise awareness of the importance of COP27.
Contributed by Hassanain Tayea