The Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs is devising a strategy to transform Egypt’s key Red Sea city, El Gouna, into the first carbon-neutral city in Africa

Once achieved, El Gouna will officially be the first carbon-neutral city in Africa and one of the leading carbon-neutral cities in the world.

Commencing with an agreement between The Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs and the Italian Ministry of Environment on 27 January, this project is to stimulate Egypt’s tourism industry and make an impression on a wider international audience. The project will also strengthen 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 local, regional and international levels by incorporating the new transition to renewable energy.

This 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 14 December 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.

El Gouna is already recognised as Egypt’s most environmentally friendly holiday destination. A self-sufficient, fully integrated resort town stretching across 10km of pristine shoreline, El Gouna is Orascom Development’s flagship project and development benchmark illustrating the vision ‘Life as it should be’. Orascom Development is a leading town developer, specialising in planning, building and operating integrated self-sufficient tourist and residential towns, presently in nine countries: Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Oman, Switzerland, Morocco, Montenegro, the United Kingdom and Romania.

The city’s management has worked hard in cooperation with local hotels, businesses, residents and visitors to maintain, protect and preserve its unique environment. The town’s environmental programmes and grassroots environmental organisation paved the way for several awards, including the Green Globe and Travelife, leading to El Gouna’s selection as the pilot location for the Green Star Hotel Programme (GSHP). The GSHP is recognised by both the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). As such, El Gouna is well positioned to be at the forefront of implementing this strategy, as it has the necessary requirements to make it the first carbon-neutral city in Africa. or