The 2nd UfM Energy and Climate Business Forum has been a great opportunity to bring together high-level government and local authorities’ representatives, mayors, stakeholders, private sector investors, companies, services providers’ business representatives, international financial institutions and regional organisations working in the field of energy and climate action from 43 countries; Together they discussed ways to enhance cooperation and promote innovative and tangible financing solutions oriented towards supporting local authorities’ efforts in developing renewable energies, improving energy efficiency, adaptation and mitigation climate actions in order to achieve a sustainable energy transition.
During his opening speech, the Portuguese Secretary of State of Energy, João Galamba, has stated that: “Decarbonisation and Energy Transition should be addressed as driven action lines of our society as a whole. This represents a major strategic opportunity that implies the mobilization of all local communities”.
While Jorge Borrego, UfM Senior Deputy Secretary General for Energy and Climate Action, added that: “When adequately addressed, the energy and climate challenges faced by the region can become business opportunities for local communities while also contributing to the transition towards sustainable energy.”
The Clima-Med project took a session during the third panel which displayed benchmark examples of successful cases and innovative solutions applied in the Mediterranean region, primarily at local level and community actor levels, noting the opportunities to replicate such actions on the level of each country and along the region around the region, highlighting to upscale potential of regional programs , like meetMED and Clima-Med among others, to foster energy transition challenges driven actions implementation.
In light of interesting discussion and presentations that took place, local authorities’ representatives spoke about obstacles met during their process to increase access to finance for energy and climate local projects; they expressed a clear interest in knowing more about the ways to overcome those challenges through new creative future financing options actions in renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change adaptation and mitigation; and the necessity to define a new role of IFI/bank/organization/company to facilitate and allow systematic funding.
Indeed, local authorities are best placed to drive the reduction of emissions through their unique position of being able to shape policy on land, buildings, water, waste and transport. City councils all over the region are taking initiative in attempts to boost renewable energy, tackle energy security, lower bills, generate employment and ultimately achieve inclusive and sustainable development.
- The 2nd UfM Energy and Climate Business Forum has allowed:
- A regional exchange of views and experiences in achieving a sustainable energy transition and in facing climate change challenges.
To identify new opportunities and innovative and tangible financing solutions;
- To follow-up on the UfM capacity building actions towards Local Authorities
- To endorse and support regional dialogue initiatives and projects such as the Clima-Med in South Mediterranean countries and Tafila Wind Farm in Jordan, in order to build a more sustainable and inclusive future for the region.
According to the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Énergie (OME), per capita energy demand is estimated to increase by 62% in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries by 2040 (taking 2018 as a reference). The Mediterranean region is also experiencing intensive industrialization and tourism growth, which is also putting pressure on the energy resources available. The limit of a 1.5ºC increase in the average temperature (compared to pre industrial levels), not to be surpassed as agreed by the Paris Agreement, is already being exceeded in the Mediterranean region.
The need for multi-level governance to successfully deliver a transition to a lower carbon society has been recognised across the region, as stated in the UfM action-oriented Roadmap for enhanced regional cooperation (Barcelona, 23 January 2017) and the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Energy (Rome, December 2016), and approved by the 43 Member-States. This Forum constitutes a milestone in the UfM’s energy related activities by seeking to mobilise private sector investment in the renewable energy sector, and to showcase innovative solutions in the region.