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Climate Change is a Key Factor towards Mediterranean Integration
Climate change is fundamentally a development issue. If left unaddressed, climate change impacts will threaten poverty alleviation and affect economic growth. On the other hand, taking climate change issues into consideration when investing in energy, food and water for an expanding population can contribute to steer the economies onto a sustainable development path. Hence, dealing with climate change also represents an opportunity and requires strong policy actions. Climate change is not a stand-alone issue but it needs to be taken into account in all economic and sectorial policies.
In short: Addressing climate change issues has to be part of all what we do.
As a preparation to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which will take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015 (COP21/CMP11)–a crucial deadline as it must result in a new international climate agreement to keep global warming below 2°C– the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region will host the MEDCOP21, a meeting at the Mediterranean level in Marseille on 4-5 June 2015. This event is organised with the presence and support of the President of the French Republic Mr François Hollande.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most vulnerable region to climate change. In a world where global average warming reaches 4°C above pre-industrial level, summer temperatures are expected to be up to 8°C warmer in some countries by the end of the century. Climate change will place already scarce water resources under intense pressure in the MENA region, with major consequences for human life and regional food security. Declines in agricultural productivity will have strong repercussions for economic growth and social stability. Rising sea-levels could cause billions of dollars-worth of damage to cities like Alexandria, Benghazi and Algiers, and to Egypt’s Nile river basin. Climate-related pressure on natural resources and subsequent migration might increase the risk of conflict. At the same time, due to its geographical position, the Mediterranean offers great potential for development of low carbon solutions at low cost, thanks to its vast renewable energy potential.
The Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) will participate in the debate on Climate Change in the Mediterranean region through multi-stakeholder dialogue and knowledge exchange on topics of financing, resilience and youth involvement.
The transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy requires massive amounts of funds and the development of innovative financing mechanisms in order to support new technologies or adjust ecosystems to be less vulnerable to climate change. Investments in climate mitigation and adaptation have reached a critical juncture. According to the International Energy Agency (2014), an additional investment of 1.1 trillion every year from 2011-2050 is required in the energy sector alone, to achieve the below two degree Celsius (2°C) temperature goal.
Besides the financing aspects, the transition to a low-carbon economy and a climate-resilient society also needs to be driven by a change of political, societal, economic and institutional approaches.
The development of resilience policies to face climate change involves going through multiple steps: identify risks, assess vulnerability, protect people and infrastructures and prevent damages, engage citizens and decision makers, prepare the conditions for a rapid return to the normal situation after a disaster, prepare reconstruction.
Young People, Climate Change and Solutions
4 June 2015, from 1:00 p.m to 2:00 p.m
Solutions Village, Villa Mediterranee, Esplanade J4, Marseille, France
‘Young People, Climate Change and Solutions’ panel will give voice to several young people from the Mediterranean to present their initiatives on climate change in a lively way. This will take place on June 4th 2015, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.
A CMI stand at the ‘Solutions Village’ will allow youth to express their views and propose solutions to climate change issues. Several exhibitions, activities and animated sessions are planned: