Climate change: a regional issue at the root of economic cooperation

Published : Friday 11 December 2015
Macarena NUNO

Global warming is not only a major threat for Mediterranean countries, it is also an opportunity to bring together the two shores economically, hence the importance of promoting regional approaches and cooperation, beyond global agreements.

This is the message IPEMED sent during the various events and conferences organised during the MEDCOP and COP21. This is the message IPEMED will keep sending during COP22 in Morocco.

Southern Mediterranean countries are already in a situation of ecological fragility (water stress, crawling urbanisation, food insecurity, low but increasing greenhouse gas emissions) that can only intensify with global warming. Hence the importance of anticipating and innovating, with North/South and South/South cooperations.

The presentation on coproduction - organised by Thibault Fabre and R.M.D.A. at the PACA region stand at Le Bourget (1st December) - and the TV show (IT Solutions COP21 of 10 December) enabled to present the potential of this new type of productive partnership, the conditions for this dynamic to support the development of a green economy in the Mediterranean and successful coproduction examples in the field of energy efficiency and green buildings, especially in Morocco.

Jean-Louis Guigou’s talk during the conference organised by Suez (1st December) - on water issues in the face of climate change - and IPEMED’s conference held at the Grand Palais (4 December) - on innovative funding for a better access to water and sanitation - highlighted the necessity to pay a particular attention to this increasingly scarce resource in this part of the world. From a local issue, water has become a global and regional one.

These exchanges highlighted potential innovative funding to improve access to water. Some of these ideas have been tested by Mr Douste-Blazy, the UN Under-Secretary-General in charge of Innovative Finance for Development and Chairman of UNITAID. According to him, a strong political will is enough to implement known and operational solutions.

In the face of climate change, water is not the only challenge facing the region. Therefore, IPEMED opened the debate on agricultural and energy issues in the Mediterranean during a conference organised at the Climate Generations Area of Le Bourget (2 December). These are two sectors in which North/South win-win economic cooperation can be developed. Indeed, climate change will increase the already important food insecurity in southern Mediterranean countries.  As Jean-Louis Rastouin pointed out, the implementation of territorialised food systems can alleviate these negative effects and reinforce ecosystems adaptation to forthcoming changes. As regards energy, Louis Boisgibault reminded the relevance of developing North/South cooperation by taking advantage of the obvious energy complementarity in the Mediterranean. The European Union is planning to implement three technical cooperation platforms. It is now necessary to address the issue of the funding of this cooperation, regarding the financial conditions expressed by Mediterranean countries in their INDCs.

These sectoral issues and tangible cooperation leads were discussed again during the very animated exchanges between Jean-Louis Guigou, Antoine-Tristan Mocilnikar and Arab Hoballah on Mediterranean cooperation in the face of climate change, during the Bourget TV show (8 December).

In order to close this intense week of information and awareness, IPEMED organised two other exchange events.

After having shown examples of Mediterranean cooperation regarding the fight against climate change and its potential, IPEMED, the foresight institute, wished to go beyond Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and ponder over the future of this cooperation. The latter necessarily includes Sub-Saharan Africa, a new space of climate solidarity. This was the object of the conference organised on 3 December in the presence of Saïd Mouline, President of ADEREE, Jaime de Melo, Scientific Director of FERDI and Mohamed Boussaid, technical advisor of AC Maroc.

During the Club France sustainable development Agora at the Grand Palais (9 December) Kelly Robin presented IPEMED’s works, its integrated vision of climate change issues in the Mediterranean and aroused new cooperation.

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