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Renewable Energy and Cleaner Transport: Egypt Updates its Climate Commitments

July 1, 2023

The government of Egypt announced the second update of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on Monday, 26 June, reflecting its heightened climate action ambitions.

The latest NDC — climate action commitments outlined by the government — revealed the country’s revised plans for transitioning towards low-carbon pathways, reducing energy consumption, and maximizing energy production from local resources.

NDCs, though not binding, are a cornerstone of global efforts to combat climate change.

Following the Paris Agreement in 2015, several countries, including Egypt, were mandated to submit their NDCs, which Egypt did in November 2015. The government then updated its NDCs for the first time in June 2022.


Egypt sped up its plan to generate 42 percent of its energy from renewable energy by five years, aiming for 2030 instead of 2035. It intends to meet this target through reducing electricity produced from fossil fuel power plants, including replacing inefficient thermal power plants with renewable power sources.

In terms of shifting towards low-carbon transport, the government aims to switch public buses to low-carbon fuels and introduce more energy efficient routes through the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, expected to be introduced to the Ring Road this year.

The expansion of the Greater Cairo underground third metro line, as well as the encouragement of bicycle use through constructing designated biking lanes, are also part of the strategy to reduce private vehicle usage and pivot towards low-carbon mass transit.

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas hampering the Earth’s ability to cool itself, leading to climate change. Low-carbon transition strategies aim to mitigate this effect.


The document outlining Egypt’s new climate commitments also revealed the plan to increase green spaces and sustainable parks in new cities. Irrigated with treated wastewater, green spaces act as carbon sinks — absorbing more carbon than they release — with the aim of improving the quality of life for citizens and reducing negative health impacts.

Egypt also plans on developing a coastal zone management plan for the North Coast that links land use development plans with coastal protection works — that aim to reduce coastal erosion — over the next 10 to 15 years.

In addition to this, the government is planning on developing weather forecast and early warning systems to provide citizens with information for time-sensitive actions to reduce injury, sickness, and deaths.

Other plans include installing solar panels, solar water heaters, and expanding the use of LED lighting in residential areas.


The financial resources needed to implement the updated NDC is estimated at a minimum of EGP 7 trillion (USD 245 billion), with EGP 6 trillion (USD 196 billion) for mitigation and the remaining EGP 1 trillion (USD 50 billion) going to adaptation.

“The update of the NDC secures grants, debt swaps, concessional finance, and catalyzes private investments to support the Energy Pillar within the Country-led Platform of the Nexus of Water Food and Energy NWFEنُــوَفِّــي platform ,” Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation explained.

NWFE, a platform launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation, aims to accelerate the national climate agenda by providing opportunities for mobilizing climate finance and private investments to support Egypt’s green transition.

Through the NWFE Platform, Egypt signed an EGP 1 billion (EUR 54 million) debt swap for climate action with Germany on 25 June to support integrating renewable energy into the electricity grid.

World leaders and over 40 thousand individuals across government, business, and civil society gathered for COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt last November to take action to combat the existential threat of climate change. The next edition of the major climate conference, COP28, is scheduled to begin on November 30, 2023 in the UAE.

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