In 1991, having identified the major sources and established levels of emissions of the major air contaminants, the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) adopted the concept of sustainable development as the basis for development in the 21st century. Control of air pollution, especially in urban centres, was identified as one of the main objectives in Algeria, Libya and Morocco. More liberal trade policies and the increased production of more affordable vehicles will lead to the gradual replacement of highly polluting, older vehicles. Another target that is expected to be of higher priority is the reduction of the sulphur content of fuels. Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia have included electrified railways in their transportation infrastructures and Egypt has built an underground metro system that has made a considerable contribution to reducing surface mass public transit thus reducing emissions from vehicles.
Industrial pollution abatement initiatives have been introduced in Northern Africa and have begun to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. For example, conversion of industrial enterprises to natural gas has been financed. In Tunisia, a solar water-heating project will promote commercialization of solar water heating technology in the residential sector. A repowering project in Morocco has also been approved but is awaiting construction of a natural gas pipeline from the Algeria-Portugal pipeline. Other projects at the preparation stage include solar, wind, and waste-to-energy projects in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.
In Egypt, the Cairo Air Improvement Project (CAIP) aims to initiate and implement measures to reduce air pollutants that have the most serious impacts on human health in Greater Cairo, especially suspended particulates and lead (see Box 2a.1). The CAIP will also monitor the effectiveness of pollution abatement schemes implemented by the Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency, CAIP, and other organizations.
|Box 2a.1 The Cairo Air Improvement Project|
|Source: USAID 2001a|