Fahmy calls for more renewable energy projects
Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy - YOUM7 (Archive)
By AYA IBRAHIM

CAIRO: Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy Sunday called on the international community  to support developing countries, including Egypt, in overcoming energy and water crises.

Fahmy’s comments came during a speech at a high-level ministerial meeting hosted by Abu Dhabi on climate change.

“The world faces several challenges, one of which is that the development and consumption pattern followed by the whole world is unsustainable and can seriously harm the environment,” he said.

Fahmy said another challenge is overcoming the impact of financial and economic crises on global investment. He said relying on investment patterns that don’t provide  real job opportunities or real production is a “mistake,” and praised efforts to turn Gouna into a carbon-neutral city.

“[Gouna] is one of the smart projects that we need to implement in the coming period in order to face all environmental, economic and developmental challenges,” Fahmy said.

Fahmy concluded his speech by expressing his hope to implement a project linking renewable energy resources in North Africa and Europe. As an example of such a project, he cited the stalled DESERTEC solar energy project, which proposed to use sites in the MENA region to provide solar energy to Europe. The project was canceled following the November 2012 withdrawal of stakeholder Siemens as well as the collapse of a number of partners.

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou signed a protocol Jan. 29 with the Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, the Italian environmental ministry, and the Gouna city government to help it implement an integrated plan to become carbon-neutral. The agreement followed a protocol signed between the two countries’ ministries of tourism, electricity and environment Dec. 14 to support eco-friendly tourist projects.

Fahmy’s appearance at the Abu Dhabi meeting comes in preparation for the U.N. Climate Summit 2014 to be held in New York City Sept. 23. The aim of the event is to set hazardous pollutant emission limits to be followed by all countries by 2020.

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