The Energy Transition Council (ETC), established by the UK as one of the main initiatives of its COP26 presidency, hosted its first working-level national dialogue with Egypt on Monday.
The ETC is Chaired by UK COP26 President Alok Sharma and co-chaired by Damilola Ugunbiyi, Special Representative of the UNSG for Sustainable Energy and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). It provides a platform for Egypt to showcase its regional leadership on clean energy.
This is the first of a series of dialogues, bringing together the best financial and technical expertise from the international community.
Attendees discussed how to respond to key opportunities to raise Egypt’s Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy (ISES) 2035 ambition, and meet its renewable energy and energy efficiency targets. They also reviewed how to help Egypt take ambitious clean energy goals, and how to address the country’s challenges in achieving a clean energy transition.
In his opening remarks, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker explained that energy transition is a path towards the transformation of the global energy sector from dependence on fossil fuels to zero carbon.
The disposal of carbon in the energy sector requires many urgent actions on a global scale to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. He added that this will be achieved through a number of measures, such as reducing energy costs generated from renewable energies.
This will also be driven through: achieving development in energy and electricity storage technologies; increasing the use of electric cars and smart grid technology; and regional and international interconnection. This will allow maximum benefits from all forms of renewable and clean energy.
Shaker pointed to the measures Egypt has taken to create a suitable environment for the transfer of energy. The domestic sector is working on adopting various technologies that help in the way energy is transferred, such as moving towards the use of hydrogen as a source of renewable energy.
It will also mean increasing the participation of renewable energies in the energy mix, and using various mechanisms to encourage private investment in this sector.
The minister expressed his appreciation for the UK’s presidency of the upcoming climate conference (COP26) to be held in November 2021. He indicated that Egypt affirms its support and participation with the UK government in this effort.
He pointed out that Egypt realises the great importance of the COP26 conference, which coincides with a time where the whole world is witnessing unprecedented challenges, all related to climate change.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has clearly shown that developing countries, especially across Africa, are more affected by climate change than others.
He affirmed his confidence that these dialogues will greatly help enhance cooperation, and shed light on the latest challenges and potentials in the energy sector. This will come with the aim of enhancing future cooperation to achieve a clean energy transition.
British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams said, “Egypt has introduced several energy-sector reforms to promote investments in renewable energy-based electricity generation, including the establishment of five new renewable energy plants in the Gulf of Suez and Aswan, and we are proud to support Egypt’s transition to clean energy.”
He added, “Holding such dialogues, and setting ambitious action on clean energy and climate change, will not only attract new climate finance but will also help Egypt build back better and stronger from COVID-19. We look forward to working closely together in the run up to COP26 in November.”
The UK and Egypt have been cooperating on several clean energy projects already, the latest being last year’s listing of Egypt’s first sovereign green bonds, worth $750m, on the London Stock Exchange.
These will help fund projects in a number of vital areas, including renewable energy, clean transport, sustainable water and wastewater management, and pollution reduction and control.