The Minister of Planning and Economic Development inaugurates the symposium “Rebuilding a Better World: Strengthening Partnerships to Lead Adaptation and Resilience in Egypt”
22 May 2022
Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, participated via video conference, in the conference organized by The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) under the title "Egypt's Road to Cop27: Bridging the Implementation and Financing Gap" in London.
El-Said opened the symposium held under the title "Rebuilding a Better World: Strengthening Partnerships to Lead Adaptation and Resilience in Egypt" during the activities of the conference, which witnessed the holding of several symposiums, including a symposium on climate implementation.
It also inaugurated another symposium entitled "Innovative Finance the Key to the Green Economy", another on infrastructure and renewable materials, as well as a symposium on health care, with the participation of many Egyptian ministers and Khaled Nassir, president of the British-Egyptian Business Association.
At the beginning of her speech, El-Said pointed out the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicating that the warming in Egypt, Africa, as well as the Middle East and North Africa region is expected to be higher than the global average.
El-Said explained that the Middle East and North Africa region will continue to suffer from the effects of rising temperatures, rising sea levels, sudden changes in rainfall, and extreme weather events.
El-Said added that such successive challenges pose significant risks to many aspects of life, especially as they undermine agriculture and food security, which could lead to the reversal of hard-earned development gains.
El-Said explained that despite contributing to only 0.7% of global greenhouse emissions, Egypt spares no effort to strengthen programs and projects to accelerate its momentum towards green transformation, adopting a participatory approach, and engaging all relevant stakeholders to develop policy frameworks to facilitate this transition.
El-Said stressed that climate change remains at the top of Egypt's priorities, and is embodied in Egypt's Vision 2030, and one of its main priorities to achieve the sustainable development goals.
El-Said indicated the Egyptian government's belief in the importance of promoting and integrating the concepts of the green and circular economy in the recovery process from the Corona pandemic and subsequent crises, with consideration to the basic principles of "inclusive and sustainable growth" and the principle of "leaving no one behind."
El-Said pointed to Egypt's launch of the "National Climate Change Strategy", which addresses all aspects of climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, and implementation mechanisms in terms of financing, technology transfer, and capacity building, in addition to monitoring and follow-up, and exploring the possibility of establishing a local carbon market.
El-Said talked about the steps Egypt has taken toward green transformation, pointing to the launch of "green bonds" worth $750 million to mobilize resources for green projects, especially in the field of clean transportation.
El-Said added that the Egyptian private sector is preparing to launch "private green bonds" with a value ranging between 120-200 million dollars.
El-Said added that among the steps that Egypt has taken is formulating a package of financial and non-financial incentives to promote the green transformation of the private sector in Egypt, while activating some articles of the investment law in this regard, in addition to launching guidelines for "environmental sustainability criteria" aimed at greening investment plan projects to reach 30% of the total projects in the current fiscal year 2021/2022, and to reach 40% in the next fiscal year and 50% by the fiscal year 2024/2025.
This is through investing in clean transportation, renewable energy, water efficiency, and sanitation projects, stressing that one of the most important elements for sustainable development is the rational use of natural resources.
El-Said talked about water scarcity, explaining that the Egyptian government has taken some effective measures to eliminate the problem of lack of drinking water.
El-Said referred to the development of government mandates and social awareness programs, in addition to the private sector's participation in business development and global investment.
Moreover, the Egyptian government is developing a national plan for the development of water resources, so that at the end of 2020, Egypt will announce a strategy for water resources until 2050, at a cost of up to 50 billion dollars, estimated at 900 billion pounds.
El-Said added that this strategy aims to achieve a rational use of groundwater, improve, develop and use modern irrigation systems in agricultural lands, activate water user associations, as well as enhance the capabilities of private sector participation in the management, operation, and maintenance of parts of agricultural lands.
El-Said emphasized that financing remains a key element in defining policies and raising the level of ambition for climate action in general and sustainable water infrastructure in particular.
She noted the need to give top priority to assessing needs and mobilizing affordable financing for climate change projects, including grants, soft loans or credit guarantees, and above all direct investment.
El-Said explained that private investment contributes to stimulating economic growth by creating job opportunities, building skills, and stimulating innovation while supporting the green transformation, minimizing risks, and providing a win-win situation for all parties.
At the level of institutional structure, governance, and policy framework, El-Said explained that the Egyptian government is currently working on updating Egypt’s Vision 2030, which will be launched soon to respond to new and emerging challenges, including issues of population growth, climate change, and water scarcity, taking into account regional geopolitical changes and taking into account Consider the effects of the Corona pandemic.
El-Said stressed the importance of the participation of private investors to consolidate green principles in all economic activities to reverse the devastating effects on the borders of the planet, which everyone will suffer from.
El-Said explained that the best way to participate comes through the partnership between the public and private sectors, especially through the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, which provides more space for the private sector to participate and increase the availability of funds while managing risks more effectively.