Egypt’s Planning Minister, Hala El-Said, met with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Director-General to discuss Egypt’s green economy transition and enhance cooperation. The meeting took place during COP28 in Dubai, where El-Said highlighted key challenges and Egypt’s ongoing efforts.
Water worries: El-Said emphasized Egypt’s top priority: water security. She cited climate-induced changes and drought as major threats, advocating for efficient water use and resource expansion to combat scarcity.
Africa’s food woes: El-Said raised concerns about Africa and the Middle East’s food security, given limited land and water, changing dietary habits, and geopolitical instability. Climate impacts further harm crops, she noted.
Appreciating support, seeking tools: El-Said expressed gratitude for international and regional efforts to help African and Middle Eastern nations adapt to climate change and build resilience. However, she stressed the need for concrete tools and mechanisms to ensure these initiatives achieve their goals, particularly in agriculture and food security.
Alignment event: Earlier, El-Said hosted a Cop28 side event titled “Aligning Climate and Development to Achieve SDGs and Accelerate Climate Action.”
2030: A halfway mark, a long way to go: El-Said pointed out 2023’s significance as the 2030 Agenda’s midpoint and the first “Global Assessment” of the Paris Agreement’s progress. While acknowledging progress, she lamented the world’s distance from achieving both plans’ goals.
Financing hurdles: El-Said cited insufficient climate and development financing as a key obstacle to implementing the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. She also mentioned the COVID-19 lockdown’s impact, forcing governments to support various sectors and individuals, straining resources.
Domino effect: El-Said highlighted the cascading effects of the pandemic, crises, and supply chain disruptions, leading to intensified pressure on developing countries, high inflation, and interest rate hikes.
National agendas, local focus: Despite challenges, El-Said noted most countries now have national agendas aligned with Agenda 2030 and Africa Agenda 2063. She emphasized Egypt’s National Agenda for Sustainable Development: Egypt Vision 2030, centered on people as the focus and achieving justice and accessibility.
Egypt’s green strides: El-Said showcased Egypt’s green transformation efforts, including:
- Integrating environmental sustainability standards into public institutions’ projects.
- Expanding green buildings and cities, with 24 new sustainable cities constructed.
- Launching a guide to environmental sustainability standards.
- Training workers on integrating the environmental dimension into all projects.
High-level engagement: The side event featured prominent figures like UN Climate Change High-Level Champion Mahmoud Mohieldin, UNDP Regional Director Abdullah Al-Dardari, World Bank Regional Director Stephane Gimbert, World Trade Bank Executive Vice President Haitham Al-Maayerji, and sustainability leader Renate de Lange Snyders.
The message is clear: While Egypt acknowledges the challenges and appreciates international support, it actively pursues its green agenda and urges concrete action to bridge the gap between aspirations and achievements. Cop28 is a crucial platform for El-Said to push this message and secure the tools and partnerships needed to navigate the complex path towards a sustainable future.