Save the Date: Civil Society will Respond to Egypt’s Anticipated Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050 Announcement

Waste a Key Focus at COP27 as UNEP Unveils Adaptation Report and Pipeline Accelerator Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 03 November 2022, 10 am GMT 

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt –The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) will be holding a press conference along with Friends of the Earth Nigeria at COP27 to provide civil society’s perspective on Egypt’s impending announcement of its Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050. The initiative sets the ambition to treat at least 50% of waste produced in Africa by 2050 and will address mitigation, adaptation, and implementation. 

In this press conference, civil society and diverse experts including youth climate activists, climate justice groups, and government leaders from across the African continent will reflect on how waste reduction and management is a key driver of adaptation and mitigation and should be included in international climate financing

What: Waste Critical to Reaching 1.5 Degree Target: Civil Society Responds to Africa Waste 50 Initiative 

Where: COP27 Blue Zone, Luxor

When: November 11, 12:00—12:30pm EET


  • Bubacar Jallow (The Gambia) Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change & Natural Resources
  • Rizk Yosif Hanna (Egypt), Zabaleen Waste Picker Group
  • Abdallah Emad (Egypt) Convener for the Local Conference of Youth, Egypt
  • Ubrei-Joe Maimoni (Nigeria) Regional Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa
  • Niven Reddy (South Africa)  Regional Coordinator, GAIA Africa

The Waste Sector Will Be a Key Topic at COP27 for Mitigation, Adaptation, and Climate Finance

Waste will be critical on the COP27 agenda as countries discuss ways to reach the Global Methane Pledge, which recognises that reducing methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas over 80 times as potent as CO2, is critical to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C.  Waste is the third largest source of methane, primarily from landfilling organic waste. 122 countries have committed to tackling this greenhouse gas globally.

The Global Methane Pledge and the Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050 both signal how countries are recognizing the potential of ‘zero waste’ to help meet climate targets affordably and effectively. Introducing better waste management policies such as waste separation, recycling, and composting could cut total emissions from the waste sector by more than 1.4 billion tonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of 300 million cars – or taking all motor vehicles in the U.S. off the road for a year.   

African communities are spearheading zero waste projects for adaptation, recognising the current realities they are faced with. One such strategy, composting, reduces pollution, prevents disease vectors like mosquitos and vermin, and boosts soil resilience, which helps combat flooding and droughts that threaten food security. 

Zero waste strategies are already showing massive potential in Africa. For example the organisation Nipe Fagio, in Tanzania, is implementing a decentralised framework for separate collection, recycling, and composting, engaging 32,000 people in Dar es Salaam and achieving 95% compliance, reducing 75% of waste in the area in just two years. Studies show that scaling these projects in the capital of Dar es Salaam would lead to a 65% reduction in sector GHG emissions, while creating 18,000 new jobs

The climate crisis has exacerbated impacts in Africa, making the need for adaptation measures more acute. Loss and damage financing and climate investments for zero waste systems in Africa can both boost climate resilience, redress historical inequities, and support local economies.

GAIA will have an international delegation of members, particularly from the Global South including several African countries, available for interview.

For a full list of events and spokespeople available for interview, please see our press kit


We have recently launched a new report titled ‘Zero Waste to Zero Emissions’.  The report provides the clearest and most comprehensive evidence to date of how zero waste is critical to the climate fight, while building resilience, creating jobs, and promoting thriving local economies. You can read more about it here: 

Press contacts:

Claire Arkin, Global Communications Lead | +1 973 444 4869


Carissa Marnce, Africa Communications Coordinator | +27 76 934 6156


GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries. With our work we aim to catalyze a global shift towards environmental justice by strengthening grassroots social movements that advance solutions to waste and pollution. We envision a just, zero waste world built on respect for ecological limits and community rights, where people are free from the burden of toxic pollution, and resources are sustainably conserved, not burned or dumped.