Decreased environmental protections related to use of coal in Egypt

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) published a commentary on the amendments to the executive regulations of the Egyptian environment law. The commentary states that the amendments have inserted further exceptions to environmental conditions and standards.

According to EIPR, the worst of these conditions is found in article 4 (amendment to clause (1) in the second chapter regarding environmental conditions and standards in intermediate storage stations outside ports). This provided an exception to the rule stating that coal storage stations must be 3 km away from residential areas. The previous executive regulation had inserted an exception allowing the burning of coal as an energy source in residential areas “for reasons of necessity and public interest”. 

EIPR is concerned that these new amendments serve to increase the amount of risk, or harm, deemed “acceptable,” and notes that this is not the first time the Egyptian government justifies the decrease in environment protection based on “reasons of necessity and public interest.” The government has failed to specify such necessities and how they correspond to public interest, as opposed to the private interest of companies. 

For more information and to read the commentary in Arabic in full, please visit here.