Saber Osman, head of the Egyptian Ministry of Environment’s climate change department, said the proposed changes could cut the country’s energy consumption by up to 17%, dramatically lowering carbon dioxide emissions.
With less movement of vehicles at night, fuel consumption would also be reduced, he said.
Egypt has slashed energy subsidies since 2015 and is planning to eliminate them entirely by 2025.
Between the second half of 2018 and the second half of 2019, subsidy payments fell by more than two thirds, to 9.9 billion Egyptian pounds ($630 million), the government said in February.
But Osman raised concerns that the new shorter-hours plan could affect jobs and cut into revenue for businesses.
A spokesman for the Local Development Ministry, however, downplayed the problem, saying the changes would drive different kinds of demand, such as for delivery and online shopping “as happened during the coronavirus lockdown.”
(Reporting by Menna A. Farouk ; editing by Laurie Goering : (Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters. Visit http://news.trust.org/climate)