Environment minister: Renewable energy should be government priority
Minister of Environment Laila Iskandar - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Minister of Environment Laila Iskandar is scheduled to open a conference under the title “Let us use the sun” on Tuesday at the British University in Shorouq City, Cairo. The conference aims to promote the use the solar energy in generating electricity.

The minister said in a statement to Youm7 Tuesday that the government should work to increase public awareness of the importance of renewable energy. The government aims to reduce the use of electricity by 20 percent during the coming period, she added.

Iskander pledged during the conference to amend the current law of environment to deter violating factories. She called for using garbage, rice straw and solar energy to generate energy.

Hussein Abaza, adviser of the Ministry of Environment for climate change, told The Cairo Post Tuesday that the ministry turned to support the use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources to contain the “disastrous” consequences of the excessive use of fossil fuel as an energy source.

According to Abaza, the government should give priority to renewable energy, while criticizing the approach adopted by cement factories to use the coal in their furnaces as a cheap source of energy “to achieve more gains at the expense of the environment.”

Abaza called civil society organizations to launch campaigns to support renewable energy. He attributed the current deplored state of the economy to the lack of serious steps in this regard, arguing that investment in renewable energy would lead to notable progress.

On the other hand, leading member of Federation of Industries Omar Mehana, said in an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday that the cement factories make use of equipped cars to transfer the coal according to environmental standards.

He added that the use of coal would save two billion cubic meters of gas and 850,000 tons of diesel during the coming three years, that can be used to resolve the current energy crisis.

Additional reporting by Manal El-Essawy.

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