Barcelona, 7 May 2015 –Within the framework of the Mediterranean Climate Week organised by Morocco, a UfM Informal High-Level Conference on Climate Change is taking place today in Skhirat, Morocco. The conference aims to contribute to regional and national efforts to prepare climate change goals in the Mediterranean, paving the way for a global agreement at the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris by the end of this year.
Organised by Morocco, as host country, and chaired by the EU-Jordan Co-Presidency of the UfM, the conference has been opened by H.E. Hakima El Haite, Minister for Environment of Morocco, H.E. Mr M. Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner in charge of Climate Action and Energy, H.E. Raouf Dabbas, Principal Advisor to the Minister for Environment of Jordan and H.E. Fathallah Sijilmassi, UfM Secretary General.
“The Union for the Mediterranean is mobilising the necessary mechanisms to help UfM Member States to prepare their contributions to the UNFCCC process and assist them in their implementation. The Secretariat of the UfM, thanks to its Group of Experts on Climate Change, is the benchmark platform for gathering the different initiatives and institutions currently working on climate change-related issues”, said Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi.
In this context, UfM Deputy Secretary General Teresa Ribeiro presented a UfM NAMA (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) Initiative for the Mediterranean region that was fully endorsed by the Member States. This mechanism creates the conditions necessary to transform the priorities identified by Member States in their NAMAs into concrete projects.
The UfM Ministerial Conference on Environment and Climate Change (Athens, May 2014) marked a strong political expression of the UfM countries’ commitment in the field of climate change.
As a follow-up to the conference, two meetings of the UfM Climate Change Expert Group (UfMCCEG) have been held, the most recent one during this Mediterranean Climate Week. UfM national focal points, along with representatives from stakeholders, civil society and the private sector from the region are exchanging views with a specific focus on climate change mitigation aspects, enhanced scientific knowledge of climate change and climate finance issues.
In line with May’s Ministerial Declaration, climate change is being addressed at the UfM in close connection with other major regional challenges, such as energy, water scarcity, desertification, food security, overpopulation and resilience to extreme weather events, and by seizing existing opportunities for cooperation. “Cooperation on climate change policy offers a great opportunity to start a transition towards more sustainable, inclusive and egalitarian development models across the region”, said the SG during today’s conference.