The Media Capacity building event took place on 4th of January 2012 at Novotel Zamalek to provide ten journalists from different Egyptian media organizations with knowledge on the topic of Climate Change. It also aims at building networks with and among journalists to provide the Cairo Climate Talks more visibility in the Egyptian media. Three Egyptian experts were invited to present information on climate change, electricity sector and energy efficiency in Egypt. This workshop was held in English language. Participants showed interest in discussing consumers’ issues i.e. ways to save energy. A second capacity building event is planned for Arabic speaking journalists. The report content will describe the event in detail.
The Media Capacity building event took place on 4th of January 2012 at Novotel Zamalek to provide ten journalists from Egyptian media organizations with knowledge on the topic of Climate Change (See list of participating journalists in the appendix below). It was structured in three thematic presentations: climate change, electricity sector and energy efficiency in Egypt. Media Capacity Building is a workshop within the Cairo Climate Talks initiative that responds to journalists’ needs of more information on the subject. Furthermore, it aims at building a network of specialized journalists to provide the CCT with more visibility in the media. The report will proceed in chronological sequence of the event highlighting the main discussion points, and then will conclude with some recommendations.
Mr. Stephan Lanzinger, Press Council at the German Embassy opened the capacity building workshop by welcoming the participants. He stated that climate change is real and happening. It does not necessarily only include threats, but also has tremendous potential for developing a greener economy in Egypt. This can lead to growth and job creation, he maintained.
After his introductory words Mrs. Mona Al-Agizy, Manager of the Climate Change Risk Management Program, started her presentation by stating that climate change might at the surface seem to be boring for the Egyptian media, but from an economic point of view it deserves more attention. “The economy is the main drive force to develop and implement environment-friendly programs in the Egyptian context”, she highlighted. Media should play a more prominent role in this regard. She briefly explained the climate change, its signs and impacts. Then she outlined the efforts of the Climate Change Risk Management Program (CCRMP) that she manages. This program has two long-term projects: first mainstreaming Greenhouse gas mitigation and Carbon Trading into national policy and second adopting climate change resilient management plans related to water and agriculture. She introduced a number of projects that resulted into decreasing the emissions like the innovative brick factories. She concluded her presentation by showing the short film “It is one world” to promote public awareness.
Dr. Hafez Salmawy, Professor at Zagazig University and managing director of the Egyptian Electricity Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptERA) gave an overview of the electricity energy sector in Egypt. The main task of the regulatory agency was to ensure security of supply of energy by keeping in mind four dimensions: supply, demand, financial and protection. He explained that Egypt is currently following the single buyer system of electricity, which is the state. It is aimed to restructure the energy sector by privatization to enhance competition among service providers which will ultimately benefit the users. The proposed energy law awaits legislation in the newly elected parliament. Dr. Salmawy elaborated on the subsidy deficit that reaches 8.8 billion EGP in Egypt’s economy. The electricity is being subsidized foremost in the residential sector, but also in some industries. He also recommended moving towards applying a program of GOC (guarantee of origin certificate) and targeting a switch towards electric mobility in the transportation sector will also save fuel energy and reduce the GHG. An example would be switching Cairo’s buses to electric vehicles that will reduce 40% of the emissions in Egypt’s capital. This is of special interest for Germany because it can export its technology to Egypt, he explained.
Mr. Emad Ghaly, president of Renewable Energy department in Siemens Egypt and head of Wind Power in the Middle East, gave an overview to the energy market in Egypt. The opportunities of renewable energies in Egypt are huge, and include wind, solar energy, biomass, geothermal, tidal power, etc. Thus, Egypt should not only focus on the classic solar power but invest in new sources as well. He concluded that the low tariff is making the market unattractive to local and international investors. “The low tariff is the strongest impediment to introducing renewable energies”, Mr. Ghaly said. Egypt is still making its first steps when compared to other countries in the MENA region like Jordan. Dr. Salmawy concurred and added that using clean renewable energy means doubling and tripling the current tariff for Egyptian consumers. “This is a politically costly decision especially in the current time” Dr. Salmawy added. Then Mr. Emad Ghaly outlined the possible jobs created along the whole chain in renewable energies. This will exceed the mere manufacturing process to include planning, production and service providing and maintaining as well. Then he explained the potentials of Energy Efficiency. Mr. Ghaly stressed the need of introducing major Energy Efficiency programs instead of being confined to few initiatives in scattered factories.
The journalists welcomed the CCT capacity building workshop and expressed their need of more events on concrete topics. Louise Sarant, Environmental and Science Editor from AlMasry AlYoum English, stated how it was visible that representatives from the government were trying to focus on their institutions rather than the climate change phenomenon itself. She suggests inviting more representatives from the civil society who can address the topic in sound terms and in the same avoid difficult technical data. Mai Al-Shafie, from the Egyptian State Radio and editor at Al-Hayat pan-Arab London based daily newspaper, also suggests organizing single-theme short events that discuss one aspect of climate change in Egypt. She benefitted from workshop much and will use some of the contents and contacts in the preparation of her radio show “Tarsheed” (meaning “Saving”). Vivid discussions between invited speakers and journalists on state policies, energy consumption and the future of Egypt’s agriculture showed the huge interest in diverse angles on climate change. In this regard capacity building was successful and can be implemented in repetitive waves.
Appendix A: List of Participating JournalistsName
Souzan Zaki, Journalist, Gomhoreya Newspaper
Olfat Saad, Journalist, Ruz al Youssef Magazine
Wafaa Ismail, Energy Sector Head, ECO-FEI
Environmental Compliance office and sustainable Development, Federation of Egyptian Industries
Nada Mohamed Rashed, Adminstrative Assistant, ECO-FEI
Noha Mohamed, Industrial Sector Engineer, ECO-FEI
Mai Elshafie, Journalist, Egyptian Broadcasting / Alhayat Newspaper
Louise Sarant, Environment & Science Editor, Al Masry Al Youm English
AbdelSalam Musa, Journalist, Ministry of Information
Mohamed Khalil, Journalist, El Riyadh Newspaper
John Kamal, Journal Website Master, El Youm ElSabea Newspaper
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