EGYPT – World Bank Group’s Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) has revealed that climate change impacts, including growing pressure on Egypt’s vital water supply, pose an increased risk to the country’s long-term growth.
According to CCDR, an ongoing commitment to climate action can transform these risks into opportunities and help Egypt to achieve its climate and development goals together.
The report identifies policy actions and investment opportunities that, if implemented within five years, could make the use and allocation of natural resources more efficient, reduce the impacts of climate change on people and businesses, and enhance Egypt’s competitiveness in global markets.
“Our CCDRs are shifting the discussion from distant impacts into immediate and actionable recommendations for decision makers today,” says David Malpass, World Bank Group President.
“The recommendations in this report are designed to build the foundation for a low-carbon growth model for Egypt with greater competitiveness in the global scene and reduced vulnerabilities of the people and the economy to climate shocks.”
Makhtar Diop, IFC Managing Director added: “Egypt has an ambitious strategy in place to combat the effects of climate change, and this report clearly shows that unlocking private sector investment will be key to reaching the country’s targets.
“Egypt is a strong partner of IFC in renewable energy and green finance. We remain committed to working together to implement the report’s findings.”
The report also highlights the increasing unpredictability of the timing and volume of water available from the Nile River, which supplies more than 97% of Egypt’s freshwater.
It says that even a slight change in rainfall can affect water availability and result in agricultural and employment losses.
Another challenge identified in the report is the high exposure of cities and coastal areas to rising seas, flooding, higher temperatures, air pollution and desertification.
The growing urban population (an estimated 41.4 million new urban dwellers are expected over the next three decades) will put additional stress on services and deepen the exposure of assets and people to climate risks.
These climate risks will have a disproportionate impact on Egypt’s most vulnerable, with the number of people living on less than US$4 a day (the expected national poverty line) increasing by more than 9 million (0.8%) by the end of 2030 due to climate impacts.
Longer-term, by 2060, the combined impact of climate change on the water supply, agriculture, air quality, and tourism could amount to between 2% and 6% of Egypt’s GDP, the report says.
Finally, the report points out that moving toward a low-emission development pathway can help Egypt to build economic resilience and strengthen its competitiveness.
Although Egypt’s share of global emissions is estimated at only 0.6%, one of the lowest globally, emissions and economic growth are tightly interlinked.
Three sectors in Egypt (energy, transport, and industry) account for around 80% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Egypt, which is currently hosting COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, has already made important steps towards addressing climate change, pioneering green bonds in the MENA region, launching its 2050 Climate Change Strategy and providing updated targets for emission reduction by 2030.
It has also launched the Country Platform for the Nexus of Water, Food, and Energy (NWFE) Program, designed to leverage multi-stakeholder partnerships to mobilize finance, provide technical assistance and catalyze private investment.
“The collaboration with the World Bank in the CCDR would further accelerate the implementation of the Egypt National Climate Change Strategy 2050 and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) 2030,” concluded Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt’s Prime Minister.
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