Greening the Islands Foundation

Mediterranean Dialogue on Sustainable Energy and Climate will Drive Diplomatic and Political Mobilization for 1 Terawatt Renewable Energy Capacity in the Region by 2030 

Greening the Islands Foundation, Union for the Mediterranean, and the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency launched the initiative at the UfM Mediterranean Green Week 2024 

Greening the Islands (GTI) Foundation announced the establishment of a new platform for dialogue on the Mediterranean energy transition, in cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE).  


The “Mediterranean Dialogue on Sustainable Energy and Climate (MEDSEC)” will engage a variety of stakeholders, from political and thought leaders to representatives of the private sector and civil society, to enable cooperation and climate diplomacy for sustainable development through renewable energy in the region.  


The initiative was launched during the UfM Regional Energy Platform sessions within the first Mediterranean Green Week, held on May 16 in Istanbul, Turkey, with the support of the Mediterranean Alliance of Think Tanks on Climate Change (MATTCC). The GTI Foundation will act as the secretariat of the MEDSEC, which evolves from the GTI Observatory task force on the Mediterranean launched in early 2024.  


The MEDSEC will champion a 1-terawatt (1TW) target of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030 in the Mediterranean, contributing to the global target of tripling renewable energy capacity launched at COP28, known as the UAE Consensus. Efforts will focus on building political consensus throughout the region and securing endorsement from Mediterranean countries and key stakeholders in the lead-up to COP29.  


According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Mediterranean is warming faster than the global average and surface temperature in the region has already reached the target threshold of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. In a context of growing climate risks, energy needs, and political instability, accelerating the decarbonisation of the Mediterranean region through a just and inclusive energy transition emerges as a key catalyst for its future security, stability, and growth.  

The vast untapped potential of renewable energy in the region can be a game changer in regional energy security and lead to mutual benefits for southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. In particular, the technical potential of solar and wind power in North Africa alone is sufficient to meet the current and 2030-projected demand for electricity in Europe and Africa.  

 

This energy leapfrogging potential can generate significant investment opportunities, stimulating development and creating new green jobs to improve regional stability and ease the migratory crisis. It can also contribute to much-needed diversification and decentralisation of the global renewable energy supply chain.  

 

“We are on the brink of several interconnected climate tipping points that can trigger cascading disruptions to global and regional systems and societies. This urges our most serious consideration, and it is therefore time we make ambitious commitments at a regional level”, said UfM Deputy Secretary General for Energy and Climate Action, Grammenos Mastrojeni. 

 

“We are glad to co-initiate the MEDSEC and work hand-in-hand with Greening the Islands and the UfM and its regional working groups and partners to support our member states in contributing to achieve the ambitious goals set at COP28, ensuring a just and an inclusive energy transition in the Mediterranean”, said Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Executive Director, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE). 

 

“We are glad to launch the MEDSEC at the Green Week of UfM, the ideal context to originate a Mediterranean climate diplomacy. We must ensure that all parties are involved in the regional energy transition, starting from local communities and economies. The Mediterranean islands will play a key role in enabling energy transition, integrated sustainability, and climate diplomacy”, said Gianni Chianetta, Chair of GTI Foundation. 

 

Developing a just and inclusive energy transition pathway for the region is critical to achieving environmental, climate, and sustainable development goals. This purpose requires a shared vision and multilateral commitment to outline common objectives and strategies.  

 

Regional cooperation must be strengthened to overcome administrative and regulatory barriers, upgrade grid infrastructures, improve financing mechanisms, align industrial strategies, and enhance sustainable resource use. At the same time, financial limitations, climate justice, and regional and sectoral differences must be considered with an approach that sustains individual countries’ decarbonisation priorities and seeks mutual recognition and value.  

 

For the strategic nature of the Mediterranean, shared by three continents, partners are convinced such an effort can lead to an iconic renewable energy-based project that could inspire others in different areas of the world. 

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