a moment that requires further collaboration, solidarity and passion to build for a better world.
The high ambitions for a greener future in Egypt are based on strong commitment, as well as capacity to unlock a green transformation in the country. Our mission has not just been to ‘think green’, but also to ‘act green’ in all of our projects and policies to help preserve the environment. Egypt works on solving environmental, social, and economic issues simultaneously, following a systematic twin-track approach to ensure that ‘green’ and ‘growth’ go together hand-in-hand. In Egypt, there are 34 projects within the Ministry of International Cooperation’s portfolio answering to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy with a total of $5.95 billion thus making up for 23.2% of the ODA; the highest ODA financing. In the renewable energy, electricity and petroleum sector in 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation signed major financing agreements totaling $677 million with the AfDB, the AFD, and EBRD. Most recently, Egypt issued the first green bonds in the MENA region, reaffirming its commitment to green financing and sustainable development projects.
To meet the rising energy demand as the population increases, the Government of Egypt has been implementing Sustainable Energy Strategy, ISES 2035, which involves increasing the use of renewables and improving energy efficiency in the power sector. The government has set targets for renewables to make up a share of 42% of the country’s electricity mix by 2035.
Since the Renewable Energy Law (Decree Law 203/2014), the private sector has been encouraged to play a role in the country’s green transformation strategy and produce electricity from renewable energy sources. A number of initiatives have appeared in the market such as KarmSolar, which was the first private solar integrator in Egypt to obtain a license from the Egyptian Electricity Regulatory Agency. This helped Egypt become one of the region’s leading country in renewable energy in the recent 2020 Solar Outlook Report. The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) also recently won the EBRD’s Silver Award in the Sustainable Energy category for its commitment to innovation, as well as pioneering steps to promote equal opportunities and “green skills” for women in the country's growing renewable energy sector.
While its environmental benefits are well known, the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy are not as apparent. By putting people at the core, we recognize all the challenges and opportunities that people can face in regard to renewable energy. By investing in renewable energy, we are also investing in improving people’s employment, health and access to affordable energy. We identify five opportunities for people when we invest in green growth: improving public health, creating more jobs, reducing future energy prices, reducing household electricity bills and carbon emissions.
Through pushing the frontiers of collaboration, Ministry of International Cooperation signed an agreement with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) for funding allocated to the Energy Sector Budgetary Support Program. Additionally, the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors have also approved the financing of Egypt’s Electricity and Green Growth Support Program (EGGSP). It aims to enhance financial sustainability, improve management and operational efficiency of the energy sector, and support the use of renewable energy.
The importance of multilateralism and the involvement of the international community to tackle a green recovery cannot be overstated. Egypt progressed significantly with multilateral and bilateral development partners with regards to energy and sustainability in advancing towards the UN SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. “It’s about doing more with less. Egypt continues investing in the efficient management of its natural resources towards a more sustainable future, one that is low carbon and one that is green” H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat. Egypt is also looking for ways to develop waste to energy technology in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Development, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of International cooperation. The waste to energy technology is one mechanism for waste treatment and recycling that will help deal with Egypt’s solid waste system sustainably, provide clean energy, and increase job opportunities.
To achieve a clean energy revolution through strengthened partnerships, Minister of International Cooperation, and Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, signed the Egyptian-Danish Energy Partnership Program (2019-2022) agreement with the Energy Agency of the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, to unlock Egypt’s green transformation and invest in renewable energy. It aims to support the state in accelerating the pace of Egypt’s green transformation by developing plans to ensure access to affordable clean energy and implementing wind energy projects, as Egypt seeks to increase the share of renewable energy to more than 42%.
The Benban solar park is the fourth largest solar park in the world, and has been implemented in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation. It houses 32 power plants and avoids 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year - equivalent of taking about 400,000 cars off the road. It is also an example of how we can put people at the heart of sustainable and clean energy projects. Construction of the solar park helped diversify employment opportunities and improve livelihoods. More than 10 000 Egyptians worked at the site during construction, and it also currently employs 4 000 people from various communities in Upper Egypt and Cairo.
To support Egypt’s Green Recovery Plan, the Ministry of International Cooperation with the World Bank approved a $200 million project in October 2020 to support initiatives to reduce air and climate pollution, as well as increase resilience to air pollution in Greater Cairo. The project prioritizes integrated climate solutions through reducing vehicle emissions, improving the management of solid waste, and strengthening the air and climate decision-making system - promoting new methods and technologies that accelerate Egypt’s transition to a green economy.
For all of our projects, to ensure that we are maximizing impact and achieving our targets, specific objectives were cross checked to the corresponding SDG targets and indicators.
By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.
By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.
Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services.
Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.