Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi gave a speech at the 2021 COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, on 1 November, calling for the international community to support Africa’s climate change concerns and address their green financing challenge.
In his speech, the President stated that “Egypt has taken significant steps to address climate change, aiming for green government projects to reach 50 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.”
The President presented examples of Egypt’s renewable energy projects, which represent around 20 percent of the energy mix in Egypt today.
“We work on bringing it to 42 percent by 2035, coinciding with the rationalization of energy subsidies,” the President said. “Egypt is also working on the transition to clean transportation by expanding the metro, rail and electric vehicle networks, and establishing smart and sustainable cities. This is in addition to the implementation of projects to rationalize water consumption, canal lining and the integrated management of coastal areas.”
The President also stated that Egypt has recently issued the first green bonds in the Middle East at a value of 750 million US dollars, which are financial instruments used to fund projects that have environmental and climate benefits. Egypt has also completed the preparation of a national strategy for climate change for 2050 to integrate climate priorities with the state’s development aspirations.
While Africa only contributes around 4 percent to the world’s carbon emissions, it is still among the most vulnerable continents when it comes to facing climate change. President Al-Sisi called for the international community to support Africa’s financing challenge to respond to climate change, emphasizing that “developing countries’ effective implementation of their commitments to address climate change is conditioned by the amount of support they receive.”
“We are concerned about the funding gap and the needs and challenges that developing countries continue to face. Therefore, developed countries must fulfill their pledges to provide 100 billion US dollars annually to fund climate in developing countries,” the President added.
On the sidelines of the COP26, President Sisi also met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister referred to Egypt as a key partner to Britain in the Middle East, and is optimistic about strengthening bilateral relations further in different fields.
According to a statement by the presidential spokesperson, the two leaders agreed on opening new prospects of cooperation between the two countries, and on enhancing the engagement of Britain in the priorities of Egypt’s development plans.
President Sisi also noted that Egypt seeks to host COP27 in 2022, following the end of Britain’s presidency. The Ministry of Environment recently issued a booklet choosing Sharm El-Sheikh to host COP27 and Egypt’s national strategies and commitments to bolster climate action locally, regionally and globally.