Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, and Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, held an extensive meeting to discuss green economic tools and develop transformation mechanisms for green recovery.
El-Said stressed the importance of green incentives and their role in the process of attracting investments in the private sector, especially after 30% of the state’s general budget investments have become green investments in the areas of transportation, water, sanitation, irrigation, and electricity, and the government aims to increase the percentage of green projects to 50% of the budget in 2024.
She added that the country’s green recovery strategy includes more of these incentives to ensure the localization of the sustainable development goals, within the framework of the implementation of the presidential initiative, Decent Life, which is one of the most important and largest development initiatives in the world, and includes mechanisms to achieve all the international goals of sustainable development and is an essential pillar in the country’s strategy to localize sustainable development goals.
El-Said also reviewed the modernization of Egypt’s Vision 2030 and achieving green recovery, the issue of water scarcity and population increase, as well as a number of issues that have arisen during the past five years, in addition to future issues Egypt is expected to face in the coming years, especially those of an environmental nature.
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said that Egypt has taken many serious steps in a number of green projects, including issuing a guide for environmental sustainability standards for projects within the state’s development plan and issuing green bonds in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance.
She noted that work is currently underway to coordinate the efforts of the government and the financing and executive sectors with the Ministry of Environment to keep projects and policies in line with global trends, international commitments and national priorities in the field of protecting natural resources and limiting the negative effects of climate change.
The Minister of Environment added that the trend is currently moving towards environmentally friendly projects to help achieve sustainable development goals on one hand, and increase the state’s financial resources and involve more green investments in the private sector on the other.
She explained that the goal of green incentives is to stimulate the private sector and attract investment opportunities to establish green projects in the top priority sectors of the state, and work to stimulate sectors that are in line with the international investment agenda to attract investments and international financing to the Egyptian market. Moreover, it is sought to benefit from international and regional funding sources which inject investments into climate change and environmental sustainability projects.
Fouad explained that her Ministry aims to develop classification criteria for green incentives, whether in reducing environmental pollution, mitigating the effects of climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, and preserving biodiversity, in addition to sustainable environmental management of natural resources, green buildings, friendly products and environment-friendly systems, achieving green economy, sustainability and rationalization of water use.
For his part, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait stressed that green finance is an essential part of the global system. Steps are taken towards expanding financing projects compatible with the environment to reduce pollution and preserve the health of citizens. He noted that Egypt is the first country in the Middle East and Africa to issue green bonds.
He added that Egypt, who will be hosting the Climate Summit next year, will prove to the world that it has taken serious steps for green recovery, through projects that promote this trend in the field of renewable energy and the “Decent Life” initiative.
He explained that the transition towards a green economy gets a lot of attention in discussions and strategic visions of the state. There is also harmony between state institutions to attract development funds for major environmentally friendly projects, especially in light of the global strategy for the trend towards green finance.
During the meeting, examples of international experiences that have made great strides in implementing green economic tools and legislative materials supporting the implementation of green economic tools in the Environmental Protection and Investment Law and the Investment Regulation and Waste Law were presented.