COP21 - Africa - Mediterranean - Europe, a relevant space for new solidarities against climate change
Kelly ROBIN et Chahrazade HOUSNI
Alongside the climate negotiations at Le Bourget, IPEMED organised a conference, on 3 December, to discuss the role of Mediterranean countries in North/South but also South/South cooperation in view of COP21 and COP22. This event, called “Africa - Mediterranean - Europe, a relevant space for new solidarities against climate change?” promoted an integrated, multi-actor and macro-regional approach of climate change issues and led to a debate on already existing collaborations between Morocco and Sub-Saharan countries.
Jaime de Melo, Scientific director of the Foundation for International Development Study and Research (FERDI) - who co-directed the collective publication Towards a Workable and Effective Climate Regime, published in December 2015 - started the conference by presenting the climate change challenges facing the African continent. His presentation, which can be downloaded below, insisted on the following observation: even though Africa is the world region that least contributes to climate change, it is the region that will suffer the most from its consequences. Therefore, bold approaches in terms of development funding are necessary: for example, Jaime de Melo mentioned the works of Patrick Guillaumont on an indicator of climate change physical vulnerability to better allocate available international resources for official development assistance (ODA) and adaptation to climate change.
Relying on the example of Morocco, Saïd Mouline, Director of the National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE), gave examples of measures that could be implemented in terms of climate change mitigation and South/South cooperation opportunities. Saïd Mouline reminded Morocco’s ambitious objectives: 42% of electric power coming from renewable sources, of which 14% in solar power, 14% in wind power and 14% in hydro power by 2020, as well as 12% of energy saving by 2020 and 15% by 2030. By favouring the development of renewable energies, especially solar and wind power, as well as energy efficiency policies, the country meets environmental and economic objectives and secures its energy supplies. Implementing such a voluntarist policy is possible in Morocco thanks to an institutional framework, an appropriate regulation and a dedicated Agency. Yet reinforcing skills, raising awareness and training people is still necessary. According to Saïd Mouline, the success of mitigation policies depend on these factors. Hence the creation in 2013, in Marrakesh, of a Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as a category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO, and the progressive implementation of three institutes of professional training for renewable energies and energy efficiency professions (Ifmeree), in Tangier, Oujda and Ouarzazate. The Green Platform hosting the first centre supports both the private sector (of which African SMBs for bridging courses) and public decision-makers.
This inclusive approach also gave birth to the Moroccan Competence Centre for Climate Change (4C Maroc), which can be defined as a “hub for information regarding climate change (CC) open on a regional and African environment”. In this regard, Mohamed Boussaïd, Main Technical Advisor of the 4C Project, supported by the GIZ, explained the role of this platform: meeting point for politicians, civil society, researchers, experts and companies; incubator of solutions adapted to Morocco to fight against the projected effects of climate change, etc.
“Morocco, a model for Africa?”, this is the question raised by Philippe Dessaint, journalist at TV5 Monde and debate moderator. For Saïd Mouline, Morocco is trying to prove that a new sustainable economic model is possible and can create employment, and that “for Africa, new opportunities are opening”.
After exchanging with the public, Jean-Louis Guigou concluded the conference on the necessity to contemplate climate challenges following a dynamic, integrated and solidarity-based approach. For IPEMED’s President, climate can drive regional integration in a great Africa - Mediterranean - Europe region. A deeper cooperation between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe, in the framework of a Foundation “La Verticale - AME” could promote new modes of consumption, production and exchanges based on crossed investments, coproduction, solidarity and co-responsibility between the region’s actors.