- The Mediterranean is one of the regions hardest hit by climate change in the world, with temperatures rising 20% faster here than elsewhere, according to a study by the Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change (MedECC).
- The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) promotes the Solar Impulse Foundation’s 1000+ solutions to protect the environment in a financially-profitable way.
- The UfM is partnering with R20 – Regions of Climate Action to deliver the first regional fund specifically supporting climate projects in coastal Mediterranean areas.
22 April 2021. The Mediterranean is one of the areas of Earth most impacted by climate change, warming 20% faster than the global average according to the first-ever scientific report on the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean, developed by a network of more than 80 scientists from across the region (MedECC) with the support of the UfM.
“Earth Day is a fitting opportunity to reflect on the urgent need for transformational change in the face of the environmental crisis threatening our planet,” said Deputy Secretary General Grammenos Mastrojeni. “Unfortunately, the areas that are most polluted, and are experiencing adverse effects like droughts and water scarcity most severely, are home to the communities that are least affluent and least equipped to respond robustly: there is a real chance of entering a vicious cycle of climate damage and increased poverty. The UfM believes that taking action to protect and restore the environment can also drive human development, and that we can turn this vicious cycle into a virtuous one, where human communities and the planet can protect and thrive off each other.”
Bertrand Piccard, Founder and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, shares the belief that we can protect the environment without compromising on human progress and economic growth. Five years ago, Piccard successfully circumnavigated the globe in a solar-powered airplane, without using a single drop of fuel. This incredible achievement demonstrated what renewable energy and clean technologies can really do, and served as the launching-point for an ambitious project: as of this month, the Foundation has identified, assessed and approved more than 1000 solutions for protecting the environment in an economically-viable, socially-acceptable and sustainable way.
Piccard is determined to promote new ways of living, consuming and producing, especially in regions such as the Mediterranean which are already feeling the disastrous effects of climate change, such as fires, droughts, floods and increasing numbers of climate refugees. The Swiss pioneer believes these issues can be seen as a unifying factor: “Mediterranean countries can join forces to mobilise all technological solutions…the production of clean energy and the formulation of methods to manage production and waste could be a great way to strengthen bonds with common purpose, spirit and success.”
The UfM Secretariat signed a partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation’s World Alliance for Efficient Solutions (WAES) in 2017. The cooperation provides an opportunity to enrich the policy dialogue on energy and climate change, and to mobilise the private sector in support of an ambitious agenda for sustainable development in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The WAES contributes to the three UfM Energy Platforms, in particular the Platform on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which aims to promote access to secure, affordable and reliable energy services and support climate change adaptation and mitigation across the region. The UfM will organize a Ministerial Meeting on Energy in June with its Member States.
A key part of the successful implementation of sustainable initiatives like Piccard’s is securing financial support and investment. The UfM is partnering with R-20 – Regions of Climate Action to deliver this year the first regionally-focused Sub-national Climate Fund (SCF) specifically for the Mediterranean, promoting unique climate mitigation and adaptation in coastal areas in the Mediterranean basin.
R20 is a not-for-profit international organisation that supports the development of low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure projects in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and waste optimization. The Mediterranean SCF (SCF-Med) will focus on the particular risks and opportunities in coastal Mediterranean areas, including waste management and sanitation in coastal cities, protecting and preserving marine biodiversity, promoting marine renewable energy, and ensuring that sectors such as tourism, agriculture, fishing and marine transport are developed within the framework of a sustainable economic recovery.
- UfM Climate Action
- MedECC First Assessment of the Effects of Climate and Environmental Change in the Mediterranean
The UfM has observer status at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).