- The 2020 UfM Mediterranean Climate Week discussed, among other topics, the progress of international public and private climate finance flows and how to optimise their mobilisation.
- Under the current scenarios, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries per capita energy demand is estimated to increase by about 60% by 2040.
- These countries have attracted 9% of the international public climate finance commitments each year. Considering these countries are representing 4.1% of the global population, it shows the region attracts a high flow of investment.
14 July 2020. The limit of a 1.5ºC increase in the average temperature, not to be surpassed as determined by the Paris Agreement, is already being exceeded in the Mediterranean region, according to the first-ever scientific report on the impact of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean, a science-policy interface that the UfM jointly supports with the UN Environment Programme. Facing the unprecedented situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, UfM Members States, scientific experts, civil society representatives and other relevant climate actors gathered at the 2020 UfM Mediterranean Climate Week to discuss key climate-related issues.
The meeting was an opportunity for the UfM to present its Climate Action Plan for the period 2021-2025. The main focus of its work is the reinforcement of the Science – Society – Policy nexus, including the role of youth, the active regional participation in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement, to be submitted this year, and the mobilization of climate finance.
In the global commitment to fight climate change, the current lack of data regarding international private climate finance is a significant obstacle. It limits the ability of governments to make informed decisions in their attempts to scale up climate projects. A full session dedicated to climate finance focused on the presentation of the preliminary UfM report “Climate Finance flows in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries” that shows international climate finance commitments accounted for USD 695 billion in 2018, 9% of the global flows. Multilateral Development Banks accounted for 64% of the flows. The main recipient countries in 2018 were Morocco, Turkey and Egypt, corresponding to USD 43 billion, whereas Algeria and Montenegro received 56 million USD and 36 million USD respectively. In terms of sectors, Renewable Energy Generation (wind farm, solar panel, etc.) represented 15% of total commitments, mainly financed by Germany and the EBRD, while Water and Supply Sanitation received USD 971 million, financed mainly by Germany and the EU institutions.
Jihad Alsawair, Director of the Green Economy Unit at the Ministry of Environment of Jordan stated: “Science remains the basis for climate action and this UfM-supported scientific report on the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean calls us all to act fast as our region is warming on average 20% faster than the rest of the globe”.
Elina Bardram, Head of Unit at the European Commission DG CLIMA claimed: “Regional cooperation remains an essential tool to find the right answers to the common climatic and environmental challenges, this is where the UfM plays a key role “.
UfM Deputy Secretary General, Grammenos Mastrojeni concluded that: “The Mediterranean has its own climate identity and challenges. Today, it heats faster than the global average, and we cannot miss such a historical opportunity to build a strong Mediterranean strategy. The UfM Climate Finance Strategy helps to shed light on the margins of progress of international public and private climate finance flows and how to optimise their mobilisation”.
Today, it is crucial to phase out investment in the fossil fuel supply chain, which far outstripped finance for renewables generation in the region. The efforts developed under the Mediterranean Climate Finance Strategy have already started to be operationalized. In this context, the Clima Med project, an EU-led initiative endorsed by the UfM, supports the transition of eight Southern Mediterranean countries towards sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient development. This strategy also aims at developing innovative solutions like those proposed by R20- Regions of Climate Action and by UN Capital Development Fund. All these actors will help in bridging some of the gaps identified, notably at the local level.