In accordance with its mandate, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is deeply involved in the drive for a Mediterranean climate change agenda. Sustainable development issues (water, the environment, climate change, energy, sustainable urban development, the blue economy, transport, climate financing) are at the heart of the UfM’s priority areas for strengthening regional cooperation.
The UfM therefore wishes to take advantage of the COP22 as an opportunity to act upon certain activities initiated in 2015 and 2016 and that could be integrated into the process of implementing the Paris Agreement. With this in mind, five important initiatives will be launched:
- The UfM worked with several regional partners to identify COP events contributing to climate-related activities in the Euro-Mediterranean region. A schedule of events associated with the Mediterranean has therefore been created. It will be presented on 11 November at 3 p.m. in the Civil Society area of the COP22.
- The COP22 will also be the occasion for the official launch, on 14 November at 9 a.m. at the European Union Pavilion, of the regional dialogue platform on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Following the launch in 2016 of the electricity market platform and of the gas platform, the UfM renewable energy and energy efficiency platform aims to promote the gradual implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in order to foster socio-economic development in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
- In the framework of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency platform, the UfM-labelled project SPREF (“SEMed Private Renewable Energy Framework”) will be officially launched. SPREF is an innovative framework aimed at boosting private investment in renewable energy in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. With a total budget of around €836 million, the UfM-labelled project, promoted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), is intended as a direct stimulus for around €600 million in investments. This project will be launched at the same time as the UfM’s renewable energy and energy efficiency platform on 14 November at 9 a.m. at the European Union Pavilion.
- Following the launch of the SPREF project, a conference for private businesses will be held on 15 November at 9 a.m. in the Civil Society area at the COP22. This conference, organised with the COP22’s Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) hub and the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency Management (AMEE) is aimed at informing businesses about the SPREF mechanism in order to encourage them to use it. This conference will therefore be open to all private businesses and professional organisations that are interested in the SPREF mechanism.
- Sustainable development and regional stability go hand in hand in the Mediterranean. The transition towards low-carbon development is a tremendous source of opportunity for the region, through the creation of new economic activities, and also offers greater resilience in the face of climatic variations. To that end, the UfM is organising a high-level discussion on these issues. The discussion panel will include Commissioner Arias Cañete (confirmed), the Jordanian Minister of the Environment, the French Minister of the Environment and the Moroccan Minister of the Environment (to be confirmed). The event will take place on 17 November at 4.30 p.m. at the European Union Pavilion.
Lastly, to coincide with the COP22 the UfM will be publishing a booklet of expert opinions on the transition towards low-carbon development in the Mediterranean. All these events should enable a Mediterranean climate agenda to emerge that incorporates the region’s specific challenges.
The UfM is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together the 28 European Union Member States and 15 countries from the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. It provides a unique forum to enhance regional cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region. It comprises the 28 EU Member States, the European Commission and 15 Mediterranean countries.