The Eco MedaGreen Summit – to be held on November 23 in Barcelona, in the framework of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders (MedaWeek Barcelona) – is co-organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Catalan Association for the Innovation and the Internationalisation of the Water’s sector (CWP), the Mediterranean Energy Observatory (OME) and MedCities.
Barcelona, October 16, 2017 – The United Nations climate change conference (COP 23), to be held from November 6-17 in Bonn, Germany, is called upon to ensure solid and positive results that will boost climate action worldwide. The Mediterranean is precisely one of the hot spots of global climate change, with an estimated increase in e annual average temperature from 2.2 degrees to 5.1 for 2100. Against this backdrop, the Mediterranean is in a process of harmonization between its socio-economic and environmental objectives, in order to adapt international commitments to regional conditions. However, much work remains to be done on the path of regional cooperation among the concerned parties.
In recent years, the issue of climate change take a significant part of government’s agendas, helping to shape their policies and pushing businesses and entrepreneurs further commit with the green economy issue. The green economy represents a great potential for the Mediterranean region for employment creation, technological progress and competitiveness.
This scenario will be discussed at the Eco MedaGreen Summit, held on November 23 in Barcelona, within the framework of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders. This regional meeting is hosted every year by Barcelona and co-organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), together with relevant international entities such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Public representatives, entrepreneurs, multilateral institutions, and international experts will discuss the emergence of Mediterranean sustainability in four priority areas: water, solar energy, wind energy and sustainable cities. The first one, water, is undoubtedly the great challenge for the Mediterranean region, since the sea has always been engine of regional development and offers significant potential for innovation and growth. Seventy-five percent of jobs in the world depend on water. Thus, water scarcity and access problems could limit economic growth in many countries in the coming years. Given that water demand will grow by 20% in 2025 in the region, it is essential to use more appropriate technologies with better energy consumption ratios, greater regulation, as well as wastewater treatment for use in agriculture or industry. All this would facilitate the sustainable development of the region and create jobs.
Cities are also an economic pillar for the region, by generating jobs and wealth, but they still face multiple challenges. Their contribution fluctuates between 50-80 % of GDP, as in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Casablanca or Barcelona. Promoting sustainable economic and urban development and ensuring a better quality of life is vital for the Mediterranean countries.
However, the solar and wind sectors have largely increased in the region during last years. Indeed, the Mediterranean is today a global leader on these fields. The potential of the region is considerable: it has a hydropower system, wind resources, the highest solar radiation levels in the world, and large desert extensions. Technically, the region could cover its energy needs and that of the rest of the world through solar energy.
The four forums that will compose the Eco MedaGreen Summit will bet on the promotion of these emerging sectors to place the region at the heart of the global industry. In order to the green economy to be developed in an inclusive manner and respond to the current challenges of youth unemployment, it will be necessary to work together for a clean, circular and efficient economy that uses sustainable resources and patterns and reduces environmental risks.