Egypt’s Supreme Energy Council has lately approved a national strategy for energy and sustainable development till 2035, which conforms to Egypt’s national development plan known as‘Egypt 2030’. The new strategy focuses on diversifying energy sources to depend on renewable resources and protect the environment.
Samir Tantawi, director of the Low Emission Capacity Building Project, a joint project between Egypt’s Environmental Affairs Agency and the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), told Watani that Egypt is giving special attention to the issue of climate change, given that it has ratified the Paris Agreement which commits the signatories to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are in the major part the result of burning fossil fuels, and are believed to be the main cause of global heating.
Dr Tantawi said that Egypt is focised on mitigating the effect of climate change on its coasts, water resources, agriculture, and the health of its citizens.
He explained that the Paris Agreement requires signatories to submit five-year reports on their national contribution towards mitigating climate change effect, and that the Environment Ministry in Egypt submitted a report in 2015 and is in the process of preparing the one due in 2020.
The Environment Ministry for its part has announced its intention to pass a bunch of laws that aim at making greater and more efficient use of natural resources, and facing negative effects of climate change. Among them are the unified water law that will be implemented in collaboration with the Irrigation Ministry, and a law that bans open air burning.
A four-day workshop has been organised jointly by the Low Emission Capacity Building Project and the Egyptian Society of Writers on Environment and Development (SWED) to raise awareness on the issue of climate change. The workshop is held in Alexandria and runs from 26 to 30 November, and includes as speakers a number of the most prominent Egyptian figures in the field of climate change, agriculture, and energy. Among them are Dr Tantawi; Diaa al-Qoussi, aide to the Irrigation Minister; Ayman Farid Abu-Hadid, former Agriculture Minister; Muhammad Suleiman, Head of the Water Resources Ministry’s Institute of Coastal Research; Anhar Higazy, expert on energy, climate change, and sustainable development; Mustafa Fouda, expert on nature reserves and aide to the Environment Minister; and Khaled Mubarak, head of SWED. The workshop is sponsored by Muhammad Shehab Abdel-Wahab, executive director of the Environmental Affairs Agency.