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In brief

What is Egyptʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Economy wide

Setting an emissions reduction target would be the first step towards a decarbonisation pathway. In order to be 1.5°C compatible, Egypt would need to peak its GHG emissions pretty much immediately and reduce its emissions by 22% below 2015 levels by 2030 so as to reach emissions levels of 224 MtCO₂e/yr when excluding LULUCF in 2030.

Egyptʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
−100%−80%−60%−40%−20%0%20%19902010203020502070
Reference year
2015
1.5°C emissions level
−23%
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions

2030 NDC

Egypt’s 2017 conditional NDC does not include an emissions reduction target. Instead, the NDC lists broad actions across the energy (including oil and gas), agriculture, waste, and industrial processes sectors to mitigate emissions.

1 Ministry of Environment. Egypt’s First Biennial Update Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (2018).

2 Meighan, B. Egypt’s Natural Gas Crisis. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (2016).

3 IMF. World Economic Outlook Update: April 2021. (2021).

4 Fahmy, H. Will the lights stay on in Egypt? Middle East Institute. (2020).

5 European Commission. New era in EU-Egypt energy cooperation. (2018).

6 Magdy, M. Egypt in Talks Over Plan to Sell Power to Europe and Africa. Bloomberg Quint. (2020).

7 Arab Republic of Egypt. Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030. (2016).

8 IRENA. Renewable Energy Outlook Egypt: Executive Summary. (2018).

9 New and Renewable Energy Authority. Renewable Energy Targets.-

10 Global Energy Monitor. Map. Global Coal Plant Tracker

11 Target does not specify reference value.

12 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.

13 In some of the analysed pathways, the power sector assumes already a certain amount of carbon dioxide removal technologies, in this case bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

14 Note that the model High Energy Demand shows a slight decline in electricity consumption between 2020 and 2030 mainly due to modelling artefacts. Consistency with national context: The significant gap between the starting year of the first generation of scenarios of the IPCC SR1.5 used in this analysis and the present has at times led to distortions when downscaling these scenarios to the national level.

15 WRI‘s report, State of Climate Action, 2021.

Emissions gap

To close its emissions gap, Egypt’s NDC states the needs for financial support from Annex I parties in addition to technology transfer and local capacity building. Egypt did not submit an updated NDC ahead of COP26. As the host of COP27, Egypt need to submit a more ambitious and quantifiable mitigation target in its NDC in 2022.

Net zero

Egypt does not have a net zero target. At COP26, the government presented the Egypt National Climate Change Strategy – 2050; however, this does not include a mitigation target. 1.5°C compatible pathways show emissions reductions of 63-68% by 2050 below 2015 levels when excluding LULUCF emissions.12 On the road to net zero, the country will need to balance remaining emissions through the use of carbon dioxide removal approaches, such as land sinks.

Sectors

Power

Fossil fuels accounted for 91% of Egypt’s power mix in 2017. Paris Agreement compatible pathways would require the power sector to be fully decarbonised by around 2036 to 2039 and contribute to negative emissions thereafter.

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Power

This could be achieved through the phase out of natural gas in the power sector between 2037 and 2039. Egypt’s 2017 NDC includes fossil fuel options, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and upgrading fossil fuel plants. Considering the long lifetimes and decreasing competitiveness of fossil fuel plants, these measures come with the risk of stranded assets and locking into high-cost, high-emission technologies.

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Power

Decarbonisation of the power sector would need to be supported by a high uptake of renewable energy (including variable renewables, hydro and biomass), from a share of 9% in 2019 to 77–95% by 2030, and reaching 100% before 2050. While the revision of the Egypt Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy target to source 42% of power generation from renewables five years earlier, by 2030, is an improvement, this is still less than half-way through Paris Agreement compatible benchmarks.

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Power

Considering Egypt’s ambition to serve as a regional energy hub exporting electricity to other African countries and Europe, and these countries’ increasing appetite for renewable energy, Egypt would benefit from an expansion of renewables in their power sector.5,6

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Buildings

The building sector accounted for 5% of Egypt’s emissions in 2019, however these emissions have increased by 74% between 1990 to 2019 due to growing demand. Egypt has adopted mandatory energy efficiency codes for buildings; however, the government has struggled to enforce these standards.

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Buildings

Declining emissions in the analysed pathways are driven by increasing electrification of the building sector from just over half of building sector energy in 2019 to 72-74% by 2030 and 94-95% by 2050. Policies to plan the development of grid infrastructure and their maintenance as demand grows will be key to facilitate increased electrification.

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Buildings

Full decarbonisation of the building sector could be reached between 2038 and 2045.

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Transport

In Egypt, the transport sector is the second largest source of emissions (15%) after the power sector, relying almost entirely on oil.

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Transport

Across analysed pathways, the extent of electrification varies, reaching 3 to 28% by 2030 and 24 to 83% by mid-century. Pathways with lower electrification rates have higher shares of hydrogen or biofuels.

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Transport

Given Egypt’s limited available agricultural land and water resources, production of energy crops for biofuels faces challenges; however, IRENA has identified significant potential for jatropha and sugar residues to supply biodiesel in Egypt, with biofuels supplying about 10% of Egypt’s transport energy mix by 2030 in their REmap Case.

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Transport

Egypt’s 2021/22 budget plans investment in the transport sector to more than doubled compared to 2020 and years before. Activities include the development of railways; electric vehicles manufacture and the development of hydrogen buses.

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Industry

In Egypt, industry process emissions and energy-related CO₂ emissions from industry each account for about 11% of total emissions. Process-related emissions have increased more rapidly than industrial energy-related CO₂ emissions.

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Industry

The cement industry is the largest contributor to industry emissions in Egypt and was identified by the government as the most attractive sector for mitigation efforts in the industry sector given its size and competitiveness. While some models indicate that process-related emissions could reach zero emissions before 2040 at the earliest, investments in innovation and R&D at global industry level will be key to drive the decarbonisation of the hardest to abate process-related emissions.

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Industry

Across analysed pathways, electrification increases from about a quarter of the industrial energy mix in 2019 to 26-32% by 2030 and 59-70% by 2050. Ammonia production is the largest contributor to energy-related CO₂ emissions in industry.

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Footnotes