EU forms ‘key energy partnership’ with Egypt at COP27 with focus on renewable hydrogen

The European Union (EU) and Egypt have taken a step further to bolster their cooperation on the clean energy transition by establishing a strategic partnership on renewable hydrogen.

Illustration (Courtesy of the European Commission/Photo by Mauro Bottaro)

The EU and Egypt signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a strategic partnership on renewable hydrogen on 16 November at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, preparing the ground for a just energy transition in Egypt.

They also signed a joint statement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Rania El Mashat, announcing the European Commission’s (EC) contribution of up to €35 million in support of Egypt’s Energy Wealth Initiative.

The MoU signature follows the joint statement issued by President of EC Ursula von der Leyen and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi last week at COP27.

It is seen as a key energy partnership for the EU and it will serve as a central block in building an EU-Mediterranean Renewable Hydrogen Partnership.

Both parties view renewable hydrogen as a key contributor to reducing emissions and ensuring energy security while representing an opportunity for industrial cooperation, sustainable economic growth and job creation.

As explained, the MoU will serve as a framework to support long-term conditions for the development of a renewable hydrogen industry and trade across the EU and Egypt, including infrastructure and financing.

It will support the EU’s ambition of reaching 20 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen consumption in 2030, as outlined in the REPowerEU plan, and therefore help reduce dependency on Russian fossil fuels.

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The MoU will also facilitate investment in renewables and boost the decarbonisation process in Egypt. More broadly, it will contribute to the establishment of a framework for a global rules-based market for hydrogen-based solutions, including harmonised safety and environmental standards.

Its implementation will be led by an EU-Egypt Hydrogen Coordination Group and involve a Business Forum with representatives from industry, regulators, financial institutions and experts.

Last week, the EU also signed an MoU with Namibia, strengthening the Partnership on Green Hydrogen and Critical Raw Materials Value Chains.

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