The Red Sea city of El Gouna witnessed the signing this week of an agreement among the Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, the Italian Ministry of Environment and El-Gouna City in order to help it implement an integrated plan to become a carbon-neutral city. This will make El Gouna turn into the first city of its kind in Egypt and Africa, and one of the leading carbon-neutral cities in the world.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Laila Iskandar, Egyptian Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Mr. Hisham Zaazou, Minister of Tourism, Corrado Clini, Director General of the Italian Ministry of Environment, and Mr. Samih Sawiris, Chairman of Orascom Development Holding as representative of El Gouna city. The signing was attended by H.E. Mr. Maurizio Massari, Ambassador of Italy to Egypt, and Mr. Ahmed Abdallah, Governor of the Red Sea Governorate.
The Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Iskandar, confirmed that “this agreement will help the Egyptian government to achieve a significant breakthrough in the fields of environment and tourism, enhancing Egypt’s global image and opening the door for Egyptian tourism projects and cities to rank among the leading carbon-neutral entities.”
In addition, the project will stimulate Egypt’s tourism industry and grab greater international attention, as well as strengthening the Egyptian government’s efforts to develop the environment and tourism sectors. Moreover, it will have significant advantages for Egypt in protecting the environment, and promoting tourism at the local, regional and international levels by incorporating the new transition to renewable energy. El Gouna is well positioned to be at the forefront of implementing this strategy as it has the requirements to make it the first carbon neutral city in the world. Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Mr. Zaazou, stressed that “El Gouna would be ready to obtain that title soon, and we will be working on implementing this project in other Egyptian cities.”
The agreement is part of the cooperation protocol signed by the Ministry of Tourism; the Ministry of Power and Energy; and the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs on December 14, 2013, to support Egyptian tourism projects to help the environment by creating carbon neutral cities. This protocol has strong support at the international level, and represents an important step towards achieving global environmental goals.