Socio-Economic intricacies related to Climate Change Towards an EU-Med research agenda and actions (Proceedings of COP24 Workshop)
On the 12th of December 2018, the second side-event co-organized by Union for the Mediterranean, FEMISE, Institut de la Méditerranée, and Energies2050 took place during Cop24 at Katowice, Poland. Entitled “Socio-Economic intricacies related to Climate Change towards an EU-Med research agenda and actions“, this round table was particularly rich in discussions around the role of research in Climate Action in general and on the role of collaboration between stakeholders in order to instigate social change.
Indeed, Jorge Borrego, UfM Senior Deputy Secretary General, Energy Climate Action, Higher Education and Research stated that “a continuous and coordinated action between stakeholders and experts is the key to optimize the fight against climate change”. In order to ask all the relevant questions and provide innovative and forward thinking solutions to local and regional structural obstacles, the Deputy Secretary General highlighted the need to bring together the different approaches to the issues of sustainable development, in general and climate change initiatives, in particular. Jorge Borrego added that the UfM’s approach to climate action is to work with the 5 key actors of climate change negotiations in the South Med, namely the people, the governments and subnational authorities, the private sector actors, the research institutes and experts, and the local, regional and Euro-Med NGOs. As Jorge Borrego said: “It is essential to talk with people and not only about them”.
One of the latest collaborations of UfM is with MEDECC, a Marseille-based network of experts to support decision-making. Joël Guiot, MEDECC expert, participated to the workshop where he presented the role of MEDECC as an essential scientific platform for informing all relevant stakeholders of the newest updates concerning climate change. In order to prepare for improved assessments and a comprehensive synthesis of global change knowledge in the Mediterranean region, he stressed the need to have networks of scientists working towards a regional science-policy interface for climatic and other environmental changes across the Mediterranean. Joël Guiot also announced the latest UfM-funded report that MEDECC is preparing which aims both at identifying gaps in the current research on climate change and its impacts in the Mediterranean and to provide concrete solutions to locals and decision makers in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries.
On the other hand, all panelists stressed on the importance of establishing reliable monitoring and reporting mechanisms. The South Med region lacks data on environmental issues making this a priority in the region. Constantin Tsakas, General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée and General Secretary of FEMISE, highlighted the need for a Mediterranean data observatory that would gather robust data on environmental issues in the South Med region, which could be made available publically allowing to remove gaps and to enhance research and policy-making. He also highlighted the fact that environmental questions must be treated in a transversal thematic approach. Researchers and policy makers should consider environmental issues, climate change and the transition towards renewable energies not only as isolated priorities but mostly as transversal issues that influence and are influenced by sectors such as agriculture, energy, urbanism, etc.
Meanwhile, Stéphane Pouffary, Executive Director of ENERGIES 2050 stressed on the importance of knowledge sharing and of building concrete collaboration mechanisms between the territories of the Euro-Med region. He presented the 2018 edition of the ENERGIES2050/FEMISE/Institut de la Mediterranee report entitled “The challenges of climate change in the Mediterranean”. This report is a flagship report discussing climate change matters and the different implications of global warming and climate deregulation in the region. “Scientists need to demonstrate opportunities by transforming constraints into potential investments and this role is possible because of the existence of a review process that is transparent and consistent” stated Stéphane Pouffary. He also stressed on the need for reliable data to provide policy makers with relevant recommendations that answer the needs of locals.
This panel also included sector-specific experts among which Karolina Zubel, Energy and Climate policies Analyst at polish think-tank CASE (FEMISE member), presenting the EUROPACE project that CASE coordinates. This initiative is a financing mechanism that aims to unlock the potential for deployment of energy saving and generation technologies to European households. In practice, EuroPACE is a form of on-tax financing building upon an existing relationship municipalities have with their citizens – the property tax system. On-tax financing is a type of financing mechanism used to collect the repayment for money that was lent for investments in building improvements that meet a ‘valid public purpose’. She added that the need for buildings that are more sustainable is shared on both the north and south of the Mediterranean and that their renovation needs to be more accessible and affordable. The potential for replication of EUROPACE in the South Med is considerable. In Morocco, for instance, the legal framework includes two potential tracks for implementation of EUROPACE including both local taxes and potential for closure measures. Moreover, the municipalities being active stakeholders of the climate action makes implementation channels adequate for local level replication.
Abeer Elshennawy, FEMISE researcher from the American University of Cairo concluded on the implications of an EU-Med research agenda on Climate Change showing the potentials of including the environmental issues into bilateral and multilateral trade agreements both for economic growth and climate action. Agriculture and Trade were the two main sectors that were stressed as particularly important for climate action in the South Med region, in general and in the Egyptian context, in particular. In order to provide concrete solutions for the current challenges we need to collaborate both with actors of the Middle East North Africa region and the European partners, stressed Abeer Elshennawy.
The Deputy Secretary General of UfM agreed on the importance of Trade Integration as a priority theme in the South Med region, for climate action and in general to foster more partnership. He stressed how a 2012 UfM report on Trade Integration, carried out by FEMISE researchers Patricia Augier and Jean-Louis Reiffers, showed that 90% of trade within the EU was trade between EU countries, 9% corresponded to trade between the EU and the 15 partner countries, while trade between UfM partner countries represented only 1% of the total.
In conclusion, all panelists agreed on the importance of including all initiatives for climate action in a dynamic dialogue between stakeholders that is evolutive and gives a voice to policy stakeholders.
Make sure to also check our “IM-FEMISE COP24 Video Interviews”, conducted on the occasion of the events at Pavillon ENERGIES 2050 (11/12/2018 and 12/12/2018), organized by Institut de la Méditerranée (IM) , FEMISE, ENERGIES 2050 and the Union for the Mediterranean.
The involvement of sub-national Euro-Mediterranean governments in the fight against climate change (Proceedings of COP24 Workshop)
On December 11 2018, during the 24th annual conference (COP24) on the fight against climate change (Katowice, Poland), a side event was organized jointly by the Union for the Mediterranean, Institut de la Méditerranée, FEMISE and ENERGIES2050 on the theme of “The involvement of sub-national Euro-Mediterranean governments in the fight against climate change”
This workshop brought together a panel of climate specialists, economists and political representatives to discuss the new report “Euro-Med sub-national governments in the fight against climate change: a framework for action, an example of the SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region and opportunities for cooperation on a Mediterranean scale “. This study proposes a photograph of the context, the potential and some examples of actions of the Mediterranean territories in the face of climate change.
As mentioned in the report, the European framework allows regions to put in place effective strategies for resilience and in the fight against climate change, agreed Magnus Berntsson, President of the European Assembly of Regions. Meanwhile, according to Jorge Borrego, UfM Deputy Secretary – Energy and Climate Action, it is really at the regional level that climate action can succeed. Regions are the real drivers of action to bring about change and ensure the sustainability of initiatives that mediate between public authorities and local people. The priorities for Territorial Cooperation on Climate and Energy in the South Med region therefore lie in the creation of an environment allowing the proliferation of climate initiatives within a joint and coordinated action between actors at different levels and in different sectors.
“The SUD PACA region can serve as an example for other Mediterranean territories in order to capitalize on initiatives and share the experience of this region for a more effective fight”. Dr. Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE), one of the publication editors of the study, described the usefulness of going back on the lessons that the case of the SUD region puts forward. A platform at the service of territories, offering the possibility to capitalize, to exchange, to train, to allow a dialogue with the world of regional statistics and to offer technical assistance, could be supported at the regional level. In addition, on the EU-Med level, private sector involvement could provide interesting answers. Among the proposed actions, the creation of an “ERASMUS of social and environmental entrepreneurship” to cultivate entrepreneurial skills with social and environmental impact especially with regards to young people.
Particular emphasis was placed on sharing and collaboration between the different stakeholders in climate action and resilience. Stéphane Pouffary, Director ENERGIES 2050 calls for “going beyond the fight against climate change to have a coordinated and positive struggle for well-being and sustainable development”. Moreover, as Magnus Berntsson pointed out, sustainable development and SDGs can not be detached from the NDCs and commitments of the Paris agreement. To treat them separately would be reductive and non-efficient. Thus, networking in the South of the Mediterranean would not only provide a better approach to the SDGs but would also have a positive impact on national climate commitments, a point shared by all panelists.
To promote these climate initiatives and highlight the conditions for collaboration between the various stakeholders, it is essential to create a comprehensive legal incentive framework that supports private and public initiatives in their fight against climate change and capacity building of local societies. Jean-Charles Lardic, Director of Planning, City of Marseille, stressed the importance of providing a legal framework for Euro-Med cooperation, as the southern shore of the Mediterranean would greatly benefit from a rapprochement on the legal issues and legal framework for climate action.
The clarification of the legal frameworks for climate action in the South Med region would also make the region more attractive to foreign donors, thus providing more transparency and insurance for investments. Carlos de Freitas, Director of Programs, Global Fund for Cities Development, emphasized that to enable sustainable financing in the Mediterranean, expertise on climate issues needs to be strengthened at the state, general and territorial levels in particular.
In addition, the role of young people from the South Mediterranean region was highlighted during the debates that ended the workshop. The intervention of Hajar Khamlichi, President of the Mediterranean Youth Climate Network, emphasized that young people carry innovative solutions and projects with socio-ecological sensitivity that would create a real virtuous circle for a structural change from within the local ecosystems. Hence the need to support them in their social entrepreneurship project, a topic that was discussed during the presentation of possible solutions suggested by the report and presented by Guillaume De Laboulaye, ENERGIES 2050 expert and FEMISE member.
COP24 : 3 questions to…Dr. Constantin Tsakas, General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée – General Secretary of FEMISE
- Who are Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE?
Institut de la Méditerranée (IM, Marseille) is an institute of economics, founded in 1994 by the PACA Region, the General Council Bouches-du-Rhône, the City of Marseille City and the CCIMP. Its initial objective: to make Marseille a major center of reflection on the future of the Euro-Mediterranean zone by collaborating with Europe and the Southern Mediterranean countries. Therefore, IM produces research and actions to promote the development of the Mediterranean territories and to advance the Euro-Mediterranean territorial cooperation. This is also how IM and ERF (Economic Research Forum, Cairo) are co-founders and coordinators of FEMISE, a historic think-tank based in Marseille that brings together more than 100 research institutes from the North and South of the Mediterranean. FEMISE, funded in large part by the European Commission (DGNEAR) has a research agenda that revolves around four thematic axes: Trade Integration, Private Sector Development, Climate and Energy and finally Inclusiveness.
With our approach, which we consider as “Science for Policy” & “Science for Business”, we want to move towards inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Through our research and multi-stakeholder dialogue, we are raising the awareness of state actors in the North and especially the South to the need to develop affordable and green energy by 2030 (SDG 7). In addition, our actions contribute to raising awareness on and acting for the implementation of other SDGs, in particular SDG9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” which is a key vector of economic growth and development. That is why we actively participate in THE NEXT SOCIETY project to support innovation in the Mediterranean. In addition, our actions respond to the issues of SDG10 “Inequalities Reduced”. Here, FEMISE and IM have undertaken an ambitious effort for the emergence of Social Entrepreneurship (ES) ecosystems, by associating the EU-MED cooperation communities with the main actors of social impact and support for entrepreneurship. We recently gathered some of these actors during a workshop, “Social Change Makers”, at the summit EMERGINGVALLEY2018 (Marseille, November 20, 2018).
- You stress that climate change is generating increased socio-economic complexifications in the Euro-Mediterranean region. What is the situation in the region and what answers do you hope to bring?
In the Mediterranean, climate change involves many risks for ecosystems and for the well-being of populations. The Mediterranean territories of Europe are the most vulnerable on the continent and the Mediterranean territories of the South and East of the basin are at the forefront at the world level. Therefore, we believe that it is first and foremost crucial to update and consolidate scientific knowledge on climate and environmental disturbances in the Mediterranean basin and to make them accessible to decision-makers, key stakeholders and citizens. That is why we are co-organizing a workshop with the Union for the Mediterranean and ENERGIES2050 (12 December 2018) which will allow to exchange between academics, practitioners and institutional representatives on ways to enrich the research program and the Euro-Med actions on climate change. By joining forces with the UfM, the reach of the messages for an impact on sustainable development in the Mediterranean can only be reinforced.
It should also be noted that the main challenges we encounter in the Mediterranean are i. the frequent absence of reliable data related to sustainable development and ii. limited interest in climate issues by the majority of public authorities in the South Bank. Thus in our strategy we wish to intensify our efforts on three axes:
- By continuing to fund research on Sustainable Development (SD) and Inclusive Strategies to be followed in the Mediterranean and on issues related to Climate Change,
- Contributing to the establishment of National Advocacy Panels in the South to act directly with policy makers,
- Contributing to the development of a SD Data Observatory on the Mediterranean.
We favor an inclusive multi-stakeholder approach and call on all concerned to contribute to this common effort. Sharing of resources and common knowledge is essential.
- With regard to knowledge sharing, you are presenting the study “Euro-Med Subnational Governments in the Fight Against Climate Change” at a second COP24 workshop. How does the SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, illustrated in your report, offer examples for the EU-Med?
Indeed, another workshop, in collaboration with the same partners, will take place on December 11 and will present the study that the IM has carried in partnership with FEMISE and ENERGIES2050 on “The sub-national governments Euro-Med in the fight against climate change: Framework for action, example of the SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and opportunities for cooperation on a Mediterranean scale “.
What we observe is that, globally, the action of communities, in France in general and in the SUD Region in particular, benefits from an incentive and coherent legal framework, which is supported by regional information systems provided, but also by the possibility of mobilizing many levers of European, national and regional funding. The communities of the SUD PACA Region have engaged in the implementation of integrated climate strategies in the form of PCET (Climate Territorial Energy Plans) and then PCAET (Climate Climate Air Energy Plans). Even if things still need improvement, the point of view that we defend in the study is that the SUD Region can therefore make a real contribution on the climate / territory issue in the cooperation strategy with the southern and Eastern Mediterranean territories.
Our reflections underline that the SUD PACA Region could bring valuable lessons and feedbacks, notably by bringing together the results of scientific research, decision-makers and the production of information and knowledge on local development / climate issues, which remains to be built in many countries. Moreover, a platform at the service of the territories in this area offering the possibility to capitalize, to exchange, to train, to allow a dialogue with the world of regional statistics and to offer technical assistance could be supported at the regional level, particularly through nascent initiatives such as the Mediterranean House of Climate.
Our study also emphasizes, more generally, on how the involvement of the private sector in EU-Med cooperation could provide interesting answers. Proposals for actions to be undertaken in the field of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation could include the creation of an “ERASMUS of social and environmental entrepreneurship” to cultivate entrepreneurial skills with social and environmental impact particularly with regard to the youth. Many other lines of thought are advanced in this study which was made available on December 7, 2018 on the FEMISE website.
Article in collaboration with ENERGIES2050 : http://energies2050.org/
FEMISE and INSTITUT DE LA MEDITERRANEE (IM) partners in a third COP24 workshop! (December 13, Katowice, Poland)
FEMISE and INSTITUT DE LA MEDITERRANEE (IM) are delighted to join the workshop “Legal Transition, a dynamic of change initiated by local actors to help meet climate challenges in a vision of sustainable development based on a “humanistic vision””, organized by the city of Marseille and Energies 2050. Are also partners Barreau de Marseille, the Friends of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Green Cross France and Territories.
After giving a brief insight into the prospective and humanistic vision of the sustainable city of tomorrow, the objective of the workshop is to explore the question of Legal Transition. The workshop will allow presenting and debating the first workings of the Mediterranean Commission for Prospective Reflection on the Legal Transition which undertook to draw-up an overview of the legal evolutions considered necessary by local actors. The workings draw from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and from the need to give territories more freedom to develop horizontal approaches and create new synergies.
Dr Constantin Tsakas, General of Institut de la Méditerranée and General Secretary of FEMISE will speak on the theme of “New inclusive and sustainable models of local development, which require revisiting legal frameworks”.
Report “Euro-Med sub-national governments in the fight against climate change”
INSTITUT DE LA MEDITERRANEE (IM), FEMISE and association ENERGIES2050, announce the publication of the final version of the report on “Euro-Med sub-national governments in the fight against climate change: Framework for action, example of Région SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and opportunities for cooperation at the Mediterranean level “
This report, articulated in three chapters, offers a photograph of the initiatives and dynamics undertaken by Région SUD (France) in the fight against the effects of climate change and also fits within the framework of the great Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
FEMISE and UfM collaborate on two COP24 workshops ! (11 & 12 December, Katowice, Poland)
FEMISE and Institut de la Méditerranée are thrilled to announce their collaboration with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and ENERGIES2050 (member of FEMISE) on two COP24 workshops (Katowice, Poland) !
The programmes for the two workshops (December 11th and 12th) are available here (11/12) and here (12/12).
WORKSHOP 1 « The involvement of sub-national Euro-Mediterranean governments in the fight against climate change » (11/11/20118) : In the face of climate change, Europe’s Mediterranean areas are among the most vulnerable in the continent, and the southern and eastern Mediterranean territories of the basin are also at the forefront. The impacts of climate change are already costly, both economically and socially, and call into question the attractiveness of territories while challenging the European objectives for regional cohesion and inclusive growth in the countries of the South Bank.
This round table live-broadcast will be the opportunity to formally present the IM / FEMISE / ENERGIES 2050 study on “The involvement of sub-national Euro-Mediterranean governments in the fight against climate change: a framework for action, an example of Region SUD-Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and opportunities for cooperation on the Mediterranean scale “. After a presentation of the issues and challenges but also opportunities to act, multi-stakeholder discussions (with representatives of the UfM, the President of the Assembly of European Regions, FEMISE experts, etc.) will allow an in-depth dialogue on Euro-Med cooperation dynamics. It will also be necessary to situate local climate governance in the broader context of Europe and the Europe-Mediterranean-Africa axis.
WORKSHOP 2 “Socio-Economic intricacies related to Climate Change Towards an EU-Med research agenda and actions” (12/11/20118) : In the Mediterranean, climate change implies numerous risks for ecosystems and for human well-being. Therefore, it is crucial to update and consolidate the best scientific knowledge about climate and environmental perturbations in the Mediterranean basin and to make it accessible to policy-makers, key stakeholders and citizens. The objective of this Broadcasted RoundTable is to exchange between academics, practitioners and institutional representatives on ways to enrich the EU-Med research agenda and actions on climate change.