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Climate change and security in the Mediterranean region

Day: 12/11/2022
Time: 17:30 -
 18:30 (Egypt local time, CET+1)
Place: Mediterranean Pavilion
Organised by: MedECC

Climatic change has likely played a role in the decline or collapse of ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean Basin and elsewhere. There is convincing evidence that climate and environmental changes and their impacts imply risks for human security in the Mediterranean region today. The primary drivers of these negative trends are climate change, but also pollution, unsustainable use of terrestrial and marine resources, and the spread of invasive species, all acting in combination. The consequences on people and ecosystems are highly dependent on location. However, disadvantaged populations in fragile or conflict-ridden contexts, especially in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, are significantly more likely to suffer from environmental change compared to others, particularly in northern Mediterranean countries. Climate change-induced water shortage and food insecurity may intensify conflicts, especially in countries that lack adaptive capacity. There is debate about the interrelationships between environmental change and the degradation of human livelihoods, and potential outcomes for migration. The relationship between climate, migration, and conflict is highly complex as it depends on the social, political, cultural, and economic conditions of a specific country. Knowledge is limited regarding how natural disasters interact with and/or are conditioned by socio-economic, political, and demographic settings to cause conflict. Poverty, inequalities, gender imbalances and governance presently hamper the achievement of sustainable development and climate resilience across Mediterranean Basin countries. Culture is a key factor to the success of adaptation policies in a highly diverse multicultural setting such as the Mediterranean Basin. There are important cultural dimensions to how societies respond and adapt to climate-related risks since culture mediates changes in the environment and changes in societies. Moreover, the region has all the resources not only to adapt but also to mitigate climate change, by reaching climate neutrality thanks to its potential of renewable energy and then reducing its greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions. To materialise that potential, enhanced cooperation and regional integration are required. Moreover, there are numerous links between energy- and water security that should be addressed through a nexus approach. However, the complexity of the Mediterranean ecosystem and the fraught geopolitics of the region make the task arduous, but necessary for the security of the region. Event objectives This side event will present the weaknesses and strengths of the Mediterranean region facing political, socio-economic and environmental threats. Afterwards, a short summary of the concept of multiple risks induced by climate and environmental changes and amplified by these threats will show that any positive evolution cannot be achieved without respecting sustainable development goals. A particular attention will be brought on conflicts and migrations, problems that amplify the vulnerability of the region. Finally the energy transition as well as the water-energy nexus, which have a high potential, but are still late in the South and East of the basin, strongly needs a cooperation framework, which has multiple co-benefits for security.