Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlab has resolved to form Egypt’s first National Council on Climate Change, to be led by the Minister of Environment.
The council will be responsible for drafting and updating Egypt’s national strategy for climate change and sustainable development. It will organise and implement national research efforts on climate change and projects to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change risks. It will also vet projects submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The GCF is operated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and supports projects, programmes and policies that counter climate change in the developing world.
The new council on climate change will also comprise representatives from key government bodies including the Ministries of Defense, Interior, Planning, Finance, Agriculture, Industry, Water Resources and Foreign Affairs.
According to Hossam El-Kawish, the cabinet spokesperson, the council will also work on removing obstacles that stand in the way of collecting, managing and processing climate change data.
“The council will conduct a report on the results of its work every four months, and will be submitted to the Prime Minister,” said El-Kawish. “It will be responsible for suggesting, following up on and gradually increasing financial annual allocations in the general budget of the state inside each ministry concerned with the impact of climate change.”
Egypt, as a low-lying coastal country with a large and rapidly expanding population is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In particular, rising sea levels are a concern. According to the World Bank, a one meter rise in sea levels would force 10.5 million Egyptians from their homes, and would inundate a quarter of the Nile Delta, Egypt’s prime agricultural land and where the majority of Egypt’s population lives. A quarter meter rise in sea levels would put 60 per cent of Alexandria’s four million strong population below sea level.