On May 25, a Clima-Med workshop dedicated to “Raising the capacities of Palestinian municipalities to plan and implement climate projects” took place in Amman. Despite the political pressures and challenges of their daily lives, twenty mayors and representatives of Palestinian municipalities, along with 19 online participants, including representatives of the Energy Authority and the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF), gathered to discuss the role of municipalities in coping with climate challenges, primarily using Clima-Med tools and help desk support.

Eng. Omar Sharkia, Assistant Undersecretary for Engineering Affairs at the Ministry of Local Government in Palestine, opened the event by underlining the country’s commitment to prioritising its climate vision. “Over the past years, Clima-Med has achieved great success at the regional level. In Palestine, it was one of the most important projects, with tangible results in completing Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) with ten cities, which have been integrated into the cities’ Strategic Development Plans”. He also pointed to the importance of the SEACAP Support Mechanism which has already been initiated by the Ministry of Local Government in Palestine to assist in the formulation and execution of those Plans and prepare much needed and requested plans.

Mr. Thibaut Moyer, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation of Jordan, expressed his high regard for the large number of participants who travelled to Jordan, driven by their dedication to lead climate actions. He said the EU is committed to developing several funding instruments in cooperation with financial institutions to de-risk and facilitate investment in climate projects. “This is all about partnership—Sharaka”, as part of a continuous partnership between the EU and Palestine on environmental and climate change issues.

The Clima-Med team presented the SEACAP Preparation Manual, specially tailored for local authorities and municipality representatives wishing to develop SEACAPs, the Climate Action Strategy (CAS) recommendations, and the Communication Guidelines in the SEACAPs, and the Climate Finance Guidebook, and demonstrated how developing SECAPs could enhance green finance opportunities, contribute to sustainable development, and attract investment.

Mr Hazem Al Kawassmi, MDLF Director of Operations, stressed the value of the SEACAPs and their complementarity with the Strategic Development Innovative Plan (SDIP) they have developed with Palestinian cities, which aims to build the municipalities’ capacity to apply for funding opportunities.

In-depth sessions highlighted the cities’ strong interest in working on institutional, financial, and technical climate topics; they provided space for fruitful discussions around shaping liveable cities with a greener future.

Building on Clima-Med’s previous achievement, new municipalities expressed their interest in receiving Clima-Med assistance in preparing their SEACAPs. For this, Mr Zbeidi, President of the Union of Local Authorities and Mayor of Salfeet pledged to invite all the city members of the Union to join the Covenant of Mayors for the Mediterranean, CoM Med and embark on the SEACAP preparation journey.