Latest on Partnerships
- Knowledge Library
- Contact Us
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of the economies of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEM) countries. Growth has become negative, unemployment has risen, current accounts and the livelihoods of populations have been severely affected.
However, the impact of the pandemic has also increased determination for rethinking regional integration and offers opportunities, as its impact is also generating changes that may have favorable economic, social, and environmental effects. One of such changes following the pandemic is related to energy. There are three essential initial points that provide an impulse for the analysis throughout these SEM countries, together with the need for economic recovery and the digitalisation trend means that electricity demand shall continue to increase rapidly in the coming years.
First, the rapid population growth in SEM countries, together with the need for economic recovery and the digitalisation trend, means that electricity demand shall continue to increase rapidly in the coming years. Therefore, reliable electricity supply would need to increase in SEM countries going forward, with a priority for low-carbon electricity in order to meet increasing demand while achieving climate change goals. Second, renewable energy has shown remarkable resilience during the pandemic and therefore the energy transition has already started. Third, with the new European Commission placing at the heart of its mandate the project of the EU Green Deal, and the plans to implement a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), there is an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition in the SEM countries.
CMI is convinced that the timing is right to rethink and actively support the transition to a low-carbon economy in the Mediterranean region. This cross-cutting issue is common in all countries. In the face of increasing demographic pressures, as well as the progressive degradation of the environment, it is urgent to take action and agree on strategies for the Mediterranean energy transition, which necessarily includes regional energy market integration.
After a short presentation of the Mediterranean context (section I), we will discuss post-Covid opportunities and actions that would be required to seize them (section II). These include providing incentives to attract investment in renewables, grasping the potential of clean hydrogen, and harmonizing policies with the EU, as part of the Mediterranean “climate ambition” plans. The potential of regional cooperation and Euro-Med energy market integration is discussed in section III. In a final section (section IV), we present a set of recommendations to adopt and operationalize a Mediterranean Green Deal in the energy sector.