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  • Tuesday, 12 March 2024

Within the framework of implementing the Green Cities program in Egypt .... The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development launches a plan to transform “6th of October City” into a green city

- Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation: The Green Cities Program is consistent with the national strategy for climate change and the state’s efforts to transform into a comprehensive and sustainable economy.

- Dr. Heike Harmgart, EBRD’s Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region: The Green Cities Program in Egypt is the result of close cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation and development partners in Egypt.

In order to enhance efforts to transition to a green and sustainable economy in Egypt and implement the Green Cities Programme, which comes within the framework of cooperation between the government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the bank, in cooperation with the government, launched the plan to transform 6th of October City into a green city. The plan is scheduled to be implemented by the relevant government agencies and the 6th of October City Authority in cooperation with the EBRD.

This comes within the framework of the close relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the EBRD, one of the largest European multilateral development banks, and in implementation of the joint strategy with the Bank for the period 2022-2026, which is based on three main pillars, including accelerating the pace of green transformation in Egypt, as well as the national priorities for the transition to green, comprehensive and sustainable growth, and the country’s keenness to implement the green and sustainable cities program implemented by the EBRD.

In her comment, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the EBRD, said that cooperation with the Bank in implementing the Green Cities Program reflects the close cooperation between the two sides, and also strengthens the international partnerships of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the field of transition to a green economy and implementation of the National Climate Change Strategy 2050 and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as well as the implementation of sustainable development goals, pointing out that the plan includes many pioneering projects in many areas that will be worked on by mobilizing investments and funds regarding their implementation.

The Minister pointed to the approach taken by Egypt to transform into sustainable and green cities, and her readiness to host Egypt for the World Urban Forum in its session next November 12, which is the second largest international conference after the COP27, to enhance the global and local trend towards green transformation and enhance urban development efforts. H.E. explained that through international partnerships, the first dry port project in Egypt in 6th of October City was financed, with funding from the EBRD and in partnership between the government and private sectors, and it is considered one of the green projects in the city.

For her part, Dr. Heike Harmgart, EBRD’s Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region said, “We are proud that 6th of October City as it is the first in Egypt to launch, complete and adopt the Green Cities Action Plan; we look forward to Alexandria and Cairo working to take the same steps.” The achievement is the result of great cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation, which provides full support for the Green Cities Program implemented by the European Bank, as well as the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities through its strategic contributions, and the Urban Communities Authority for their supervision and guidance. I also thank the 6th of October City Authority for their efforts to reach a plan.

Through the action plan, 6th of October City works to address environmental issues and challenges related to infrastructure and support the transition to a green, low-carbon future, capable of resilience and response to crises. It serves as a strategic roadmap designed to achieve the city’s vision through the implementation of “core pivotal projects.”

The Green City Action Plan (GCAP) identifies 14 key projects across key sectors; supported by 17 long-term initiatives, with the aim of transforming 6th of October City into a leading Egyptian city that supports sustainability, green investment, digital transformation, and inclusive growth.

The program provides a strong platform for international financial institutions to support sustainable projects. A prominent example of this is the financing available from the EBRD worth €25 million to establish Egypt’s first dry port in the city, which represents one of the important milestones for the city in this framework of the Green Cities Programme, and serves as a catalytic project for the Green City Action Plan.

It is worth noting that the agreement for 6th of October City to join the Green Cities initiative was signed during the visit of the Bank’s President, Ms. Odile Renaud Basso, to Egypt in 2021, and was witnessed by Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation.

The Minister participated in a discussion session within the EBRD annual meetings, which was held in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, last year, on the “Green Cities Initiative: Resilient  Solutions for Future Cities.” In her intervention, she highlighted cooperation with the Bank in implementing the program. The session also witnessed the presentation of a promotional video produced by the EBRD on the implementation of the Green Cities Program in Egypt.

The EBRD launched the Green Cities Program in late 2016, to support cities to transition to a green, low-carbon and more resilient future. It achieves this by helping cities identify their most urgent environmental priorities, and addressing them through targeted investments, procedures, and public policies. So far, the program includes 50 cities worldwide, including three cities in Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria, and 6th of October.

80 projects are being implemented within the program around the world, saving 4.57 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and about €5 billion have been mobilized from bilateral and multilateral development partners for the project, including the Green Climate Fund, the European Union, the European Bank Technical Support Fund, and South Korea and Japan.