Paris, 13 June 2019. The UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel has participated in the UfM Gas Platform Conference held today in Paris. The conference has tackled the key Role of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) in the Mediterranean Gas Security and has gathered high-level speakers including the Minister of Petroleum of Egypt and the Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, as well as the Director-General of OME (Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie) which ensures the secretariat of the UfM Gas Platform.
The Mediterranean region is home to an increasing population of over 500 million people with growing energy demand. Indeed, a 62% increase in energy demand in Southern Mediterranean countries is expected by 2040 (Mediterranean Energy Perspectives 2018, OME). The integration of electricity markets, the improvement of renewable energies, the promotion of energy efficiency, as well as the development of gas markets, including LNG, play an essential role contributing to the diversification of the energy mix and, therefore, ensuring a more secure and sustainable energy transition, in line with UN SDGs. The still largely untapped potential of LNG in the Mediterranean region represents an opportunity to contribute – as low carbon energy source needed to balance the intermittence of renewables – and foster the achievement of the regional energy transition and climate targets.
These regional challenges center the work of the UfM Energy Platforms: the UfM Regional Electricity Markets Platform, the UfM Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Platform and, the UfM Gas Platform. These three platforms are the unique existing dialogue fora gathering all Euro-Mediterranean countries as well as the key stakeholders dealing with electricity markets, renewable energy, energy efficiency and gas in the Mediterranean region.
Today, the UfM Gas Platform Conference has discussed the existing opportunities of using LNG in the Mediterranean region, as an element for diversification and competition, as well as the need to strengthen regional cooperation and to harvest commercial opportunities in order to stimulate economic growth, inducing new or innovative solutions and job creation in a variety of sectors.
During his speech, Secretary General Kamel recalled the importance of enhancing regional dialogue and cooperation in the field of energy within the frame of the UfM Energy Platforms. He stressed that “fostering tangible regional cooperation in the field of energy (…) would not only generate a win-win situation for all parties concerned, but could also be key to unleashing a new phase of Euro-Mediterranean integration as a whole.”