Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad met with Japan’s Ambassador to Cairo Oka Hiroshi on Wednesday to discuss aspects of bilateral cooperation in the fields of reducing plastic waste and climate projects in preparation for Egypt’s hosting of the Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 27) in Sharm El-Sheikh this November.
The minister praised the extended cooperation between both sides on environmental issues and Japan’s role in providing technical support to the Ministry of Environment, according to a statement from the ministry.
The two sides discussed ways of fostering bilateral cooperation in the field of reducing plastic waste, especially in marine areas, in light of Egypt’s interest and efforts in facing this challenge, especially with the issuance of the first waste management law in Egypt in 2020 and its executive regulations a few weeks ago.
Moreover, Fouad pointed to the national strategy to reduce single-use plastic bags and one of its applications in Sharm El Sheikh after Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s recent announcement that the city would become more eco-friendly ahead of the COP 27.
Sharm El-Sheikh’s preparations also included a set of other measures in the fields of electric transportation, waste management, the use of renewable energy, and encouraging green tourism in hotels and diving centers, in addition to declaring that Sharm El-Sheikh would be free of single-use plastic bags by this June.
For his part, Oka stressed that the environment is one of the most successful fields of Egyptian-Japanese cooperation over the past years, expressing his country’s keenness to continue this fruitful cooperation, especially in the field of reducing plastic waste, and its advanced technologies to treat such waste and provide environmentally friendly alternatives, such as biodegradable bags.
He also pointed to an agreement that Japan signed during the G20 meeting on the Blue Ocean Initiative to reduce plastic waste and protect marine areas and the possibility of cooperation with the Egyptian side in this regard.
Furthermore, the Japanese ambassador emphasised his country’s interest in climate finance and its commitment of $100bn to support climate action in developing countries along with its allocation of $12bn for five years to climate finance, which was increased after the COP 26 that was held in Glasgow last year to $14bn.