Egypt, host of this year’s COP27 UN climate conference, submitted its first update to its Paris Agreement target in July 2022. While the previous NDC did not include an emissions reduction target at all, the new 2030 target is barely an improvement, and would see emissions continuing to rise in absolute terms and even above what is expected with currently implemented policies. The CAT therefore continues to rate Egypt’s overall climate action as “Highly insufficient”.
The updated NDC lacks transparency, making any quantitative assessment difficult. The CAT estimates that Egypt could already easily achieve its new, weak target without introducing any new policies. Under this new target, Egypt’s emissions would increase by around 50% from today’s levels by 2030. In contrast, the CAT’s current policy projections estimate that emissions will grow more slowly, increasing by about 15–40% above today’s levels by 2030.
The new target is conditional on international support and Egypt did not specify an unconditional component. Egypt would need to go back to the drawing board and submit a further strengthened and transparent target before COP27 to fulfil the requirements of the Paris Agreement.
Egypt is scaling up its domestic fossil gas production and use, risking locking itself in to a high-carbon pathway. It has ditched its plans to build up coal-fired electricity and is pursuing renewable energy investments, but at a smaller scale than gas.
Egypt is responsible for over a third of total fossil gas consumption in Africa, and it is the continent’s second largest gas producer. Domestically, Egypt clearly views fossil gas as a “bridge fuel”, and the government is making efforts to increase gas consumption in nearly all sectors. While a transition away from all fossil fuels holds multiple benefits and is urgently needed to avoid catastrophic climate change, there is a risk that Egypt will not show leadership on the matter due to its own current and intentionally growing dependence on fossil fuels—and particularly fossil gas.
In June 2022, Egypt joined the global methane pledge. In its NDC, Egypt pledges to reduce emissions from gas flaring in the oil and gas sector to less than half of 2015 levels, and lists some unquantified measures in the waste sector. However, it is unclear whether these measures are sufficient to reach the 2030 global goal of reducing methane emissions by 30%—especially given the planned increase in oil and gas production. The agriculture sector, a large source of methane emissions, is not covered in Egypt’s NDC.
To be compatible with the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement, Egypt should put forward an unconditional target and policies that would at least stabilise emissions at today’s levels by 2030. Its conditional target would need to reduce emissions until 2030 by around 25% compared to current levels.
The CAT rates Egypt’s climate targets and policies as “Highly insufficient”. The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Egypt’s climate policies and commitments are not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s objectives and lead to rising, rather than falling, emissions. Egypt’s 2030 emissions reduction target is consistent with warming of up to 4°C when compared to the reductions needed within its borders and its business-as-usual trajectory is consistent with warming over 4°C when compared with its fair share contribution. Egypt’s current policies would result in emissions reductions well below its target, but still only in line with 3°C warming.
Egypt has taken its first steps toward investing in large-scale renewable energy projects, but these remain much smaller in scale than investments into fossil fuel-based energy sources, in particular fossil gas. Egypt is Africa’s second largest fossil gas producer and it is making significant investments into new oil and gas production and exploration.
The CAT rates Egypt’s policies and action as “Insufficient”. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Egypt’s climate policies and action in 2030 need substantial improvements to be consistent with the 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Egypt’s approach, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C.
The full policies and action analysis can be found here.
The CAT rates Egypt’s 2030 NDC target as “Highly insufficient”. Egypt's NDC includes a conditional mitigation target comprised of a quantified emissions reduction below a business-as-usual scenario in three sub-sectors: electricity, transport and oil & gas, as well as a qualitative list of policies and measures in other sectors. The lack of transparency makes the target difficult to assess. The CAT estimates that the target would lead to emissions rising substantially—by around 50% compared to today’s levels and that it will be overachieved with already implemented policies.
To receive a 1.5°C compatible rating for its conditional NDC target (what the CAT refers to as an ‘internationally supported target’), Egypt would need to commit to reducing its emissions by approximately 25% by 2030 compared to today’s level—with international support.
Egypt has not included an unconditional target or component in its NDC update. In the absence of such a target, the CAT takes Egypt’s estimated 2030 emissions under a business-as-usual scenario as its unconditional commitment and rates it “Critically insufficient”. The “Critically insufficient” rating signals minimal to no action and is not at all consistent with the 1.5°C temperature limit. Egypt’s unconditional contribution as the CAT has defined it is not in line with any interpretation of a fair approach to meeting the 1.5°C limit. If all countries were to follow Egypt’s approach, warming would exceed 4°C.
Egypt would need to roughly stabilise emissions at today’s levels to meet its fair share of the global mitigation effort to keep temperature rise below 1.5°C.
Egypt does not have a net zero target.