Egypt’s climate plan lands – Climate Weekly

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Cairo, Egypt (Pic: Andria Piciau/Flickr)


With four months to go until Egypt hosts the next UN climate talks, Cairo has updated its national contribution to the global effort.

Its previous climate submission was evasive, with a list of the government’s mega-projects and nothing resembling a target.

From that low bar, the new plan is an improvement, leading with a goal to get 42% of electricity from renewables by 2035. It still allows emissions to rise, blaming economic woes for hindering ambition.

Egypt has been particularly hard hit by disruption to food supplies since Russia invaded Ukraine, as it got much of its wheat from that region. Keeping bread on the table – and stamping out complaints – has taken up most of the government’s bandwidth this year.

Officials want Cop27 to make the case for a faster shift to renewables, to underpin food and energy security. Observers are sceptical, seeing the Sharm el-Sheikh summit as little more than a tourism ad, far from the gritty reality of Egyptian life.

To salvage a win in these circumstances, the Cop27 presidency will have to get out of its comfort zone and engage with critics.

This week’s stories

The US Supreme Court’s reactionary rampage has been widely reported internationally. Its ruling to limit the power of the Environmental Protection Agency left climate advocates with a depressingly narrow scope to effect change.

Less well publicised was its Brazilian counterpart ordering the government to reactivate its national climate fund. As well as countering the worrying deforestation trends in the Brazilian Amazon, the ruling recognises the Paris Agreement as a human rights treaty, which could have international significance.

Meanwhile gas lobbyists got their way in Europe, with a parliamentary vote clearing the way for the fossil fuel to be labelled a “green” investment. Expect legal challenges.

“Most of the likely contenders… couldn’t give a shit about climate and nature”

UK international environment minister Zac Goldsmith on the race to replace outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson

Read more on: Climate politics