Although oil and gas play a significant part in the Egyptian economy, the prospects of renewable energy in Egypt are extremely bright, according to the British Ambassador to Egypt, Sir Geoffrey Adams.
He added that British experts see that Egypt is one of the best places in the world for solar and wind energy production, giving example of the Benban project. The Ambassador said that the country is facing a transition which is supported by oil and gas companies themselves.
His remarks came during the Race to Zero Campaign event hosted by the British Embassy in Cairo to celebrate the inclusionof several British companies in Egypt in the campaign. By signing up, these companies have pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050, at the latest, in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to reduce the negative impacts of climate change worldwide.
The campaign, which is the largest alliance ever devoted to achieve net zero carbon emissions by mid-century was launched in June 2020 to support the UN Climate Ambition Alliance. Whereas the latter commits nations to be more ambitious in their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, Race to Zero, brings actors outside of national governments, including businesses, initiatives, and chambers, together to commit to the same goal: carbon neutrality by 2050.
Leading the event was the British Ambassador to Egypt, who gave opening remarks to congratulate the companies that signed up, adding that the campaign is building momentum for a global shift to a decarbonised economy, ahead of COP26, hosted by the UK in Glasgow in November.
Around 15 attendees joined the event, including Country Director of Astrazeneca Hatem Werdany, Managing Director of HSBC Helmy Ghazi, Country Director of Savills Catesby Langer-Paget, Executive Director of the British Egyptian Business Association Nadia Lamloum, Board Member of the Egyptian British Business Association Amr Hassanein, and representatives from Vodafone and Unilever, all of whom havecommitted to the Race to Zero campaign.
British Ambassador to Egypt said, “Today marks an important moment in our ambitious climate campaign ahead of COP26 in November. I am proud to see these five UK-based businesses in Egypt leading the way and participating in the UN Race to Zero campaign, committing themselves to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. Climate change is not a distant threat. We must act together to accelerate action to reduce emissions, protect our environment, and adapt to the global consequences of a warming world. I look forward to many other companies in Egypt joining this vital initiative, helping to guarantee a more resilient future for the next generation.”
The Ambassador stressed that climate change has become a top priority in the cooperation between Egypt and the UK. He added that the UK and Egypt are cooperating greatly in confronting climate change.
For her part, Executive Director of BEBA Nadia Lamloum said that BEBA supports Egypt’s ambition for a greener future through a programme of events focused on providing the Egyptian and UK private sector with insight into and access to sustainable projects.
Having said that, BEBA organized this year a number of webinars, such as green finance and electric vehicles.
BEBA also organized in cooperation with the EBCC a virtual conference that discussed the green economy including achieving sustainable growth and value for future generations, as a transition to a green economy. Specific sectors discussed include the future of oil and gas, strategy of the Suez Canal economic zone, sustainable financing solutions and opportunities between Egypt and UK in the fields of communications, education and consolidating digital transformation in all industries.
“BEBA is here to support the Race to Zero initiative, and we are encouraging our members, British and Egyptian companies to support the race to zero campaign,” she said.
She concluded that sustainability is at the heart of raising awareness of businesses, and connecting them with partners.
Board Member of the Egyptian British Business Association Amr Hassanein, said that the EBCC is committed to a sustainable and resilient recovery after COVID-19.
He added that the EBCC is pleased to sign up to the Race to Zero initiative and provide support to businesses in the UK and Egypt, looking to transition to a green future. Hassanein stressed that now is the time to take action across all industries.
Catesby Langer-Paget, Head of Savills Egypt Office, stated,“We, as Savills Egypt, are dedicated to climate preservation and sustainability; hence we give our full and wholehearted support to the Race to Zero Initiative. Leading by example, we are committed to optimising our processes to reach a net-zero carbon emission by 2050, and we encourage more businesses to adopt this initiative and take part in building a more sustainable environment”.
Currently, the Race to Zero campaign represents 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors, and 622 Higher Education Institutions worldwide, in addition to 120 countries, which collectively cover nearly 25% of global CO2 emissions and over 50% of global GDP.