Third Forum on Strategies For Transition To Green Economy
14 June 2021
COVID-19 provides the world an unique opportunity to accelerate the transition to green economy and promote green growth.
H.E Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al Mashat
H.E Minister of Environment, Dr. Yasmine Fouad,
Eminent fellow panelists
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is an honour for me to participate in the third forum of Strategies For Transition To Green Economy and share this panel with distinguished participants.
Representing the UN system, I will focus my intervention on the role of multilateral cooperation in boosting green growth.
Ladies and gentlemen, first of all we need to be proud that together we have created an ambitious framework of multi-lateral cooperation for promoting green growth. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development and associated sustainable development goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, The Convention on Biological Diversity, The UN Convention to Combat Desertification are some of the key pillars of this framework.
Our collective success in the form of Vienna Convention to Protect the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol unambiguously revealed the possibilities of multilateralism - as the most efficient pathway to address the emerging planetary challenges and harness the opportunities offered by Green Growth.
However, we all know that stronger efforts by all countries are needed to realize the ambitious environmental goals of the Paris Agreement or any of the multilateral agreements. The “three planetary crises” of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are reinforcing each other and driving further damage to the environment and to our health. The UN Secretary General reminded the G7 world leaders earlier this week that ‘we are coming to a point of no-return’ with respect to these crises.
So what does UN bring to the table to enable multilateral cooperation to address these planetary crisis? While at the global level, UN provides the platform to bring its member States, coalition of stakeholders together to agree on these critical guiding frameworks. At the country level, we work with the Government to offer technical advise, expertise and, capacity building on relevant areas.
In Egypt we have some remarkable successes in this regard. A collaboration between the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP paved way for transformation of a market through rapid uptake of LED technology in Egypt.
The UN supported the Government in adopting regulatory and legislative reforms to set LED efficiency standards in line with internationally agreed baselines. An awareness and social media campaign and competition helped create ripple effects of rapid adoption among including banks, hotels and supermarkets, government offices and households. This one project delivered Energy savings equivalent to electricity for 2 million households a year. The UN system in Egypt is looking forward to continuing working with the Government to accelerate transition to green economy in Egypt.
Last year, UN in Egypt supported 82 companies in adopting green and circular measures and systems. 100 roof-top Photovoltaic (PVs) systems were installed reducing emissions of 9.47 tonnes of CO2/year.
This year, UN system in Egypt plans to work with over 400 companies in using/adopting green and circular economy measures and systems, while we plan to work with the Government on 10 policy measures and strategies targeting green and circular economy. 19 low carbon/green technologies are expected to be promoted and implemented across different sectors.
Ladies and gentlemen,
COVID-19 provides the world an unique opportunity to accelerate the transition to green economy and promote green growth
The world is spending trillions of dollars on COVID-19 recovery efforts and we have the opportunity to ensure that the bulk of these spending goes to greener and cleaner sectors.
In Egypt, a 100 billion EGP package was announced by the Government to boost recovery. Egypt has shown remarkable commitment that deserves global attention. Last year, Egypt managed to issue the first sovereign green bonds in the MENA region raining USD 750 million, whereby ensuring that that finances raised are earmarked towards projects that promotes green growth especially in fields of clean transport and renewable energy. Also, last year the Government announced its commitment to increase the proportion of green investment projects’ proportion to 30% by 2022 and eventually 100% by 2024/2025. These recent developments building on the successful reduction of fossil fuel subsidies in Egypt together show a clear pivot towards Green finance and investments in Egypt.
UN stands ready to work with the Government to ensure that these successful examples from Egypt on green transition are recognized and shared globally so that other countries can emulate the successful initiatives of Egypt.
At the same time, more of these initiatives can ensure that Egypt uses COVID-19 as an opportunity to accelerate transition to green economy. One obvious example is the recently announced second wave of reforms in Egypt which aims to diversifying the productive structure of the Egyptian economy, with a focus on three priority sectors: manufacturing industries, agriculture, and ICT. There is scope to ensure that the next wave of reforms promote green growth strategies in these leading sectors.
Finally, what can be done to promote further accelerated transition to Green Economy in Egypt, especially through multilateral collaborations?
The UN system conducted a deeper look at what explains the relative success story of multilateral cooperation in the renewable energy sector in Egypt compared to other areas such as agriculture development. Clear regulatory environment and priority setting by Government are the building blocks of successful multilateral cooperation and private sector engagement. Further, participatory and transparent approaches to regulatory formulation instils confidence among stakeholders.
Let me conclude by saying that UN system stands ready to partners with all relevant stakeholders to scale up the success stories of green transition in Egypt.