The European Union and Egypt are set to sign a deal later this month on supplying the bloc with gas as the bloc seeks to slash its dependence on Russian supplies, according to a draft document.
The two sides, and Israel, are poised to agree on a memorandum of understanding when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visits Cairo later this month, according to the draft statement.
Bloomberg previously reported that such a deal would involve Israeli natural gas being liquefied at Egypt’s processing plants before being shipped to the EU. It may also contain measures to help stem leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
“Security of gas supply is a common major concern,” said the draft document, which is still subject to change. “Egypt and the EU will work together on the stable delivery of gas to the EU.”
The proposed deal with Egypt highlights the country’s crucial role in ensuring both food and energy security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. EU leaders have also highlighted the potential of African countries to provide not only the liquefied natural gas needed to replace Russian fossil fuels, but also green hydrogen in the coming years. The bloc targets imports of 10 million tons of the green gas from abroad by the end of the decade, the same amount as the region aims to produce itself.
Still, there are concerns over the climate impact such new agreements will bring, especially regarding methane emissions that can be 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over two decades. Algeria, another country with which the EU wants to source gas supplies, has a giant gas field that has been leaking methane for nearly four decades.
Egypt, which is set to host the COP27 climate summit this year, hasn’t yet signed up to the Global Methane Pledge — an agreement signed by over 100 countries to slash emissions of the gas.