Egypt, EU agree to reinforce cooperation on LNG, green hydrogen

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Sameh Shoukry

Egypt’s Foreign Minister and President designated of UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) Sameh Shoukry in his meeting on Sunday in Cairo with the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for the European Green Deal and Climate Change Negotiations Frans Timmermans (Photo : Egyptian Foreign Ministry)

Shoukry is also the president designate of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), while Timmermans is the VP responsible for the European Green Deal and climate change negotiations.

In a joint statement following the meeting between Shoukry and Timmermans in Cairo on Sunday, the two officials stated Egypt and the EU agreed to develop a Mediterranean Green Hydrogen Partnership encompassing hydrogen trade between Europe, Africa and the Gulf.

The statement also alluded to the geopolitical situation as an impetus for the agreement, in an indirect reference to the Russian invasion to Ukraine and its implications on the gas and oil market

The Egyptian government has already signed several MoUs with international companies over the past weeks to expand green energy, especially green hydrogen.

Timmermans is currently on a visit to Cairo that started on Saturday where he met Egyptian officials, including ministers, to discuss the preparations for COP27, which will be hosted in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh next November, as well as the investment opportunities in green energy in Egypt.

The two officials also agreed in their meeting that the impact of the current geopolitical situation worldwide should not result in backtracking nor lowering the level of ambition on climate action, deprioritising climate responses or diminishing the fiscal space available to developing countries.

Shourky and Timmermans also discussed prospects for enhanced bilateral and regional cooperation frameworks between Egypt and the European Union on issues that are fundamental to accelerate the transition to sustainable and resilient, net-zero emissions economies, including the potential for supporting further renewable energy generation, green hydrogen, climate change adaptation and sustainable and integrated management of water and other resources in line with Egypt’s 2030 Strategy and Climate Change Strategy 2050, as well as the European Green Deal.

In the joint statement, the EU reconfirmed its openness to exploring bilateral partnerships and further cooperation through investments, exchange of expertise and technology in mutual interests as Egypt’s significant potential in driving an inclusive green transition.

“The EU Global Gateway and the flagships of the Economic and Investment Plan will be key tools to mobilise tailored support,” the statement said, adding that the implementation of ambitious climate policies and targets in Egypt will be essential to structure and boost this enhanced partnership. 

Both parties emphasised in their meeting the importance and centrality of the role of various partners and stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and youth in addressing the global climate agenda, and reiterated their full support to an inclusive climate response that promotes dialogue and active consultations. 

The two officials agreed to encourage mobilisation of climate finance and accelerating the delivery of the $100 billion pledge to developing countries, especially in Africa, for adaption to the climate change,

Egypt has been calling out the inadequate climate finance in developing countries, especially in Africa, urging developed countries to help them adapt to climate change.

The $100 billion pledge was announced during the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) to support developing countries for adaptation to climate change by $100 billion up till year 2020, but failed to reach its target.

Shoukry and Timmermans discussed the preparation for COP27 in November and related issues like mechanisms for implementing the European Green Deal and supporting the process of just transition with a focus on the African continent.

Both sides agreed to reinforce cooperation, to defend multilateralism and to spare no efforts to deliver ambitious outcomes at COP27, building on what was achieved in Glasgow to keep warming limited to 1.5 degrees and support developing countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change.

According to the statement, both officials agreed that the implementation of the pledges and announcements made during COP26 in Glasgow should now be the priority including in the context of the 2022 Ministerial Roundtable meetings which were held in Dubai from two weeks ago.

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