Madrid, 23 November 2016. The UfM Secretary General, Fathallah Sijilmassi, participated in today’s seminar ‘Climate change agreements between Paris and Marrakech: ratifying and implementing’, in Madrid, to present the state of play of the Euro-Mediterranean climate and energy agenda.
In line with its mandate to enhance regional cooperation on climate action, Secretary General Sijilmassi reaffirmed the UfM Secretariat’s commitment to further contribute towards regional cooperation on climate action and to the development of a common, region-wide Mediterranean agenda for action against climate change that is reflected through various activities carried out by the UfM at this year’s COP22 ‘Cop of Action’.
As Secretary General Sijilmassi emphasised in this meeting: “The fight against climate change represents a great opportunity to implement new models of sustainable and inclusive development in the Mediterranean. It is essential that we take advantage of this opportunity to boost investment, foster technology transfer, create job opportunities for young people, strengthen the role of women and develop low-carbon production and consumption patterns that contribute towards greater integration, sustainable development and stability in the region”.
During the COP22 in Marrakech, the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Commission launched the UfM Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Platform (REEE) to promote progressive deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in order to foster socio-economic development in the Euro-Mediterranean region. This initiative followed the launch of the UfM Regional Electricity Market Platform and the UfM Gas Platform earlier in 2016. This year will also witness the Meeting of the UfM Energy Ministers, on 1 December in Rome, to reinforce the Euro-Mediterranean regional framework on energy.
Furthermore, the UfM and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched the innovative project ‘SEMED Private Renewable Energy Framework (SPREF)’. SPREF is a €227.5 million financing programme that will mobilise further investment from other parties of up to €834 million and aims to stimulate the development of private renewable energy markets in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.
Participants highlighted two other important initiatives that were launched in Marrakech and are strongly supported by the UfM: namely the signing of the 5+5 Ministerial Declaration endorsing the Action Plan to implement the Water Strategy in the Western Mediterranean by Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia, and the signing of an agreement between Morocco, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain to reinforce the electrical interconnections between the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean through Morocco.
The seminar was attended by the Spanish Secretary of State for Environment, Pablo Saavedra Inaraja, the Honorary President of Gas Natural Fenosa, Salvador Gabarró, the Chief Executive Officer of Gas Natural Fenosa, Rafael Villaseca, and the Spanish UfM Senior Official, Ambassador Gabriel Busquets.