Monday,17 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1400, (5 - 11 July 2018)
Monday,17 June, 2019
Issue 1400, (5 - 11 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Decreasing emissions

Lowering greenhouse-gas emissions to save the climate is high on Egypt’s agenda


Greenhouse-gas emissions
Greenhouse-gas emissions

The Emissions Capacity Building Programme organised by the Ministry of the Environment in Cairo closed this month on a successful note, having been arranged with the help of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt, reports Mahmoud Bakr.

“The workshops successfully held capacity-building activities to help raise awareness of the hazards of climate change. They also provided a chance to evaluate the possibilities of decreasing harmful gas emissions in ways suitable for Egypt,” said Sherif Abdel-Rehim, head of the Central Administration for Climate Change, on behalf of Mohamed Shehab Abdel-Wahab, chairman of Egypt’s Environmental Affairs Agency.

“Thanks to the workshops, the participants, from the private and public sectors, are better able to deal with the issues and to decrease harmful emissions,” said Mohamed Bayoumi, head of the UNDP’s Environment and Energy Projects Department in Cairo. He applauded the cooperation between the Ministry of the Environment and the UNDP, which had resulted in executing a number of development projects.

The Emissions Capacity Building Programme is funded by the European Union as well as by the German and Australian governments, said Samir Tantawi, head of the programme. It is being implemented in 25 countries and started in Egypt in August 2013 with the aim of raising the awareness of the public and institutions about ways to decrease harmful greenhouse-gas emissions, the cause of climate change, in the energy, industry and transportation sectors.

“Included in the workshop activities were studies evaluating the chances of decreasing emissions according to national needs and laying out strategies to enable carbon-cutting development. The programme also discussed ways to lower emissions in the industrial sector, especially in cement, fertiliser and steel factories,” Tantawi said.

“The programme has conducted activities and studies in 10 sectors, including power generation, renewable energy, transportation, industry, tourism, population, petroleum, agriculture, and waste and drainage, in addition to training 500 individuals, from journalists, Environmental Affairs Agency experts, youth specialists and public-sector employees from 10 ministries,” he added.

He said that the Ministry of the Environment had tasked the workshops with producing a report that on a national level would reflect Egypt’s vision of the issues associated with climate change, including lowering emissions, adapting to the negative effects of climate change, and the economics of climate change.

“The programme has evaluated ways of lowering emissions in national projects such as the underground system, smart lighting systems, generating electricity from renewable energy sources, developing coal-making systems, and closed wood-burning incinerators that don’t produce harmful emissions. It has also discussed retrofitting factories for fertilisers and steel in addition to upgrading industries that depend on high energy consumption, such as textiles, paper and food,” Tantawi said.

A national database on lowering emissions is being built to report to the international community on Egypt’s efforts in the field of climate change, in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015. In the pipeline is a national study evaluating ways of creating a market in carbon bonds and climate-change guidelines for the layman, Tantawi concluded.

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