Most of Egypt’s population and infrastructure are concentrated in the Nile Delta and along the Mediterranean coast, which makes the country vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, particularly inundation and saltwater intrusion. Most agricultural production is concentrated near the banks of the River Nile, and agriculture is the biggest employer with over 31.2 percent of the total population. Agriculture contributed 14 percent to GDP in 2009 and contributes 10 percent of the country's total emissions. Agriculture is the biggest consumer of freshwater resources – over 80 percent. In the agricultural sector, climate change studies expect that the productivity of two major crops in Egypt - wheat and maize – will be reduced by 15 percent and 19 percent, respectively, by 2050.
In 2011, a National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction was released. This strategy lays out the path to overcome the challenges raised by climate change and estimates the investment required to reach its strategic goals. Egypt ratified the Paris Agreement in June 2017 and submitted their NDC, which focuses on the sustainability of agriculture, the environment, water resources, energy, and land management as priority areas.
The NDC outlines Adaptation Action Packages with specific adaptation goals for the most vulnerable sectors, including agriculture. Such adaptation actions include building an effective institutional system to manage climate change associated crises and disasters at the national level. There is strong political will to address the impacts of climate change in all vulnerable sectors (agriculture, health, energy, tourism, water, and coastal zones). The UNDP-supported Green Climate Fund-financed National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Readiness Programme has been established and is in an initial phase of implementation. This NAP programme targets support to build climate resilience in Egypt by improving institutional and technical capacity for climate change adaptation (CCA) planning, examining climate risks, determining CCA priorities, integrating CCA into national and sectoral planning and budgeting, and increasing investment in adaptation actions. There is a large and fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector and a large domestic market, with potential for improving integration of private sector actors in agriculture in national climate change action.