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  • Monday, 28 March 2022

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Participates in MENA Climate Week 2022 High-Level Panel Discussion in Dubai

Increasing development financing directed to adaptation and mitigation projects to address climate change is a necessity in supporting global development efforts. 

Egypt is accelerating its steps towards achieving a green transformation through development cooperation and stimulating private sector engagement, to expand environmentally-friendly projects, while also strengthening regional and international efforts in addressing climate change, noting the needs of developing  countries.  

Expanding innovative financing tools to open the door for increased private sector participation is necessary to finance adaptation projects, to mitigate climate change, and to fulfill global commitments. 

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat participated in the Middle East and North Africa Climate Week 2022 High-Level Panel Discussion organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Dubai, UAE. The panel session included H.E. Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Environment in Sri Lanka;  H.E. Dr. Jasim Al-Mohammedi, Deputy Minister of the Environment in Iraq;  H.E. Mr. Mohamed Abdoulkader Moussa, Minister of Urbanism, Environment and Tourism in Djibouti; H.E. Ms. Samia Moualfi, Minister of Environment in  Algeria; and H.E. Mr. Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Champion for Climate Action COP26.

During the session, Al-Mashat discussed various opportunities to promote green growth, to overcome challenges caused by climate change, and to implement international agreements on climate action, such as the Paris Agreement. 

Al-Mashat said that increasing development financing directed to adaptation and mitigation efforts has become necessary to increase the level of efforts exerted globally, adding that blended finance solutions pose an opportunity to enhance private sector participation in the green transformation. The Minister elaborated that the Government of Egypt has strengthened measures in stimulating partnerships with the private sector to support in areas such as, producing and storing green hydrogen, alongside granting tax incentives  to investment projects in electricity, renewable energy, and industry sectors.

The Minister added that the Government of Egypt is working closely with multilateral and bilateral development partners to diversify development financing tools to support green transformation efforts. In 2021, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided $100 million in Egypt’s first private sector green bond issuance. Moreover, in 2020, Egypt was the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to issue $750 million worth of 5-year sovereign green bonds. In the Ministry’s development portfolio, there are 28 adaptation projects in  energy efficiency, agriculture, wastewater management, and water desalination amounting to $2.85 billion, and 46 mitigation projects in renewable energy, sustainable cities, and sustainable transport worth $7.83 billion. 

Al-Mashat also spoke about the structural reform program that was launched by the Government of Egypt in last April to complement the success of the economic reforms that began in 2016, aiming to promote a comprehensive and sustainable economic growth, in line with Egypt’s 2030 Vision, including an increased focus on priority sectors such as, agriculture, manufacturing, information and communication technology.

Regarding COP26, Al-Mashat referred to the high-level session that was held to discuss the development of an international framework for innovative financing in a way that opens the door for increased private sector participation through multilateral cooperation. She explained that the Ministry of International Cooperation is in ongoing discussions with development partners to set clear steps in promoting innovative and blended finance to stimulate the green transformation efforts locally, regionally and internationally.

The Minister also reviewed the state’s efforts in promoting the transition towards a green economy through its  Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy, as the government had positioned the energy strategy as a priority in reform from 2015, aiming to increase private sector investments in new and renewable energy projects. This allowed Egypt to progress 67 steps between 2014 to 2019 according to a report issued by the World Bank on access to electricity services. Al-Mashat also touched on the Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy which aims to increase renewable energy to 42% by 2035, and explained that the Government of Egypt is taking steps to expand in hydrogen production in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

In this context, Al-Mashat pointed to the inauguration of the first dry port in the 6th of October City as part of the strategy to increase the participation of the private sector in vital projects and in support of the transition towards a green economy. The Minister added that the EBRD has provided development financing worth $29.6 million to finance the construction of the dry port, adding that this is the first of its kind in Egypt, with a capacity of 720 containers per day, with the possibility of increasing its capacity to 250 thousand containers annually; providing 3,500 direct and indirect job opportunities.

Al-Mashat also pointed out that the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EBRD launched 2 programs to address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the private sector in Egypt, with a focus on green financing, amounting to €220 million to support SMEs and mitigate climate change.

The Minister, referring to Egypt hosting COP27, emphasized moving from commitments towards action and implementation, which requires designing an international financing framework anchored to the collective efforts of all stakeholders to crowd in private sector commitments, and increased support towards  adaptation and mitigation projects.