Mustafa Kamal Tolba, former director of the United Nations Environment Program, said there was no way to predict the potential repercussions of climate change on Egypt, calling for the formation of a ministerial committee to address the issue.
In a symposium organized by the Cairo-based Development Partners Center on Monday, Tolba said the committee should also include 25 to 30 scientists of various specialties to study the phenomenon as it pertains to Egypt and to psychologically prepare citizens for its potential effects. “The committee should issue a paper on Egypt’s future policies regarding climate change,” he said.
According to Tolba, scientific studies have confirmed an overall increase in temperatures that will eventually lead to a rise in sea level, threatening to submerge most of Egypt’s Nile Delta. He said that the provinces of Kafr el-Sheikh and Beheira — which together produce 12 percent of Egypt’s agricultural wealth — would be the first to be inundated, since both lie below sea level.
“There are two scenarios that foresee a rise in sea level, by either 19 to 49 centimeters or by 1.5 to 2.5 meters, which would submerge most of the Delta under water,” he said. “The eastern border, however, is protected by the Red Sea mountain chain.”
“I am currently compiling international studies on the phenomenon and will hand them over to the environment minister in two weeks,” Tolba said.
“It’s a pity that the government’s main national project is getting rid of garbage while it neglects such an important issue,” Former Housing Minister Hassaballah el-Kafrawi said.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.