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Thursday, 8 September 2022

ICF kicked off with a bank … sorry … bang

Egypt could land funding worth up to USD 1.3 bn from the EBRD: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to provide as much as USD 1.3 bn in funding to support clean energy projects in Egypt, President Odile Renaud-Basso said yesterday. Renaud-Basso pledged to invest USD 1 bn in renewable energy projects and provide a further USD 200-300 mn to fund the energy pillar of the government’s Nexus on Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) program. The announcement came following the EBRD boss’ sit-down with Egypt’s International Cooperation Minister, Rania Al Mashat, on the sidelines of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF), which kicked off yesterday in the new administrative capital.

Canadian friends: NWFE is not slang for a Newfoundlander: The program, which launched back in July, aims to connect national projects with global climate financing from development finance institutions in the run-up to COP27.

Could more funding come out of the EBRD? Renaud-Basso also discussed “further cooperation” on Egypt’s green projects with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to a statement from the office of president.


Could NWFE get support from Washington? US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry gave the program the thumb’s up — and hinted at more funding. “This has the potential to attract bns in investments from donor governments, philanthropy, development finance institutions and the private sector — it’s exactly the kind of innovative thinking we need,” he said at the forum.

He also reaffirmed the Biden administration’s global climate funding commitments: Kerry emphasized the United States’ commitment to helping the international community deliver USD 100 bn annually for climate mitigation and adaptation in developing countries in his speech. US President Joe Biden has made a budget request for USD 11 bn in climate finance to Congress for the next fiscal year, he said. The Overseas Development Institute suggests that the US is at the bottom of the OECD nations when it comes to delivering its fair share of the USD 100 bn-per-year figure, with Biden’s predecessor at the White House having delivered just USD 2.3 bn in 2020.

Kerry wants to see the private sector do more on climate: “The [International Energy Agency] tells us we need to invest USD 4 tn, every year, in this transition,” he said. “No government on earth can fully fund that level of investment — we can only get there with the full participation of the private sector.” In 2021, the world invested USD 755 bn in the green energy transition — a record figure, but only a third of what is needed to meet the 2030 climate goals, he added.

It’s not just about renewables, but tech as well: “In addition to financing solar and wind farms and retiring coal plants, we also need capital to invest in innovation to scale and bring the next generation of technologies to market,” he said.


The UK’s BII will invest USD 100 mn in Egyptian startups, some of which will be earmarked for green companies: British International Investment (BII, the UK’s development finance institution) plans to invest USD 100 mn in Egyptian startups between now and 2026, it said in a statement.

Climate startups could benefit, with BII saying it wants to develop a blueprint for climate adaptation and renewable energy in water infrastructure and unlock clean energy solutions, like solar, wind and green hydrogen.

BII is hosting a summit on “innovation for impact” in venture capital in Cairo next week, with themes including climate tech and food security. BII has already invested over USD 760 mn in Egypt, including in the Benban solar park.


The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) launched a new initiative to attract investment to climate projects in Africa. The Africa Network, announced at the forum yesterday by GFANZ co-chairman and UN climate envoy Mark Carney, will work with African financial institutions, policymakers and regulators to improve access to climate finance on the continent.

Some very smart Egyptians are on board: Climate czar Mahmoud Mohieldin will chair the network’s advisory board, while Financial Regulatory Authority chief Mohamed Farid will be vice chair. Our friend CIB CEO Hussein Abaza is on the board.


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said that developed countries with higher emissions are more responsible for climate change and should provide more financial support to poorer nations. “Only 20 countries are responsible for about 80% of the effects of climate change. I think it is fair and objective that these nations that bear the largest responsibility significantly contribute to supporting developing countries,” the president said at the forum.


The Egyptian Healthcare Authority will partner with global biotech company AstraZeneca on developing green sustainable health facilities in Sharm El Sheikh, host city of COP27, according to a cabinet statement. The authority aims to transform Sharm El Sheikh International Hospital into Egypt’s first green hospital.

Our friends at Infinity will develop and manage 18 electric vehicle charging stations, while Infinity Power will develop a 6 MWp solar plant in Sharm El Sheikh in preparation for COP27, according to a company statement. Infinity Power is a joint venture between Infinity and UAE renewable energy company Masdar.

EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development signed an agreement with the country’s Education Ministry to transition 102 schools to solar energy, according to an EFG statement.

Al Mashat announced that Egypt has prepared the Sharm El Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing. The guide aims to outline the key role of major development finance partners and recipients “in translating financial commitments into implementable projects,” she said in a statement yesterday.

The Arab League will sign a cooperation MoU with the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) at COP27, according to an Arab League statement. No further details were given on the nature of the agreement.

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