Misrata is working to adhere to environmental, social and governance (ESG) guidelines across different sectors to improve its business standards, sophistication and alignment with other trading centres. Although itis located on a coastal oasis and above an underground water table, the city and its surrounding area are vulnerable to climate change. At the national level, Libya has progress to make on the environmental front. A UN climate change fact sheet published in October 2022 stated that it had the highest annual greenhouse gas emissions per capita in Africa, at 8.5 tonnes.

Libya has signed various international agreements as part of its efforts to commit to global ESG frameworks, including the ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In 2019 the Libyan government initiated a five-year investment plan to implement and sustainably operate water and sanitation projects. UNICEF has been investing in and designing campaigns to increase water scarcity and climate change awareness, and assisting in assessments of water supply systems and institutions.

In December 2022 the UN launched its Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for 2023-25 for Libya, which outlines four strategic priorities: peace and governance, sustainable economic development, social and human capital development, and climate change, environment and water. While it is important that Libya continues to work with the UN to adhere to a country-wide policy to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the local level, leveraging ESGfocused policies implemented by entities in centres of trade and commerce such as Misrata can start a positive cycle that influences standards of production along value chains. ESG policies have been developed in collaboration with public entities, such as the Ministry of Environment; private sector firms, such as international shipping companies and energy providers; and educational, health and governance organisations.

Within this drive to promote ESG, the Port of Misrata has implemented a number of regulatory and operational policies focused on the environment. Its infrastructure is designed to preserve the marine ecosystem through modern storm-drain and sewer networks. Given the quantity of foodstuffs transported through the port, the Misurata Free Zone (MFZ) has also partnered with international firms to ensure pest control and broader environmental protections for companies that are located inside of it. Additionally, the MFZ has taken significant steps towards developing renewable energy sources, such as a solar energy project that provides sustainable power to the MFZ and the Port of Misrata.