Local and regional authority participation is key in developing a climate action strategy in the Mediterranean, according to the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean on Tuesday.
Nasser Kamel, speaking at a plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), highlighted the importance of working closely with local and regional authorities amid the current challenges.
Given the clear circular link between climate, energy security, economic growth, development and health, Kamel said that "we need to build a development strategy that helps us improve human health, greens our economies, yet still drives competition, and provides a digital basis for key public services and sectors."
Mohamed Boudra, president of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) also favored local and regional authority participation to achieve the European Union's ambition to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050 through the Green Deal project.
"The same ambitions and decentralized approach must dictate our thinking and our climate action in the Mediterranean. The COVID-19 crisis demands a double transition, a greener and more sustainable transition. We need to build forward," said Boudra, who co-chaired the meeting.
EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, described the New Agenda for the Mediterranean, which was presented by the European Commission and the European External Action Service on Feb. 9, as "tailor-made, accounting for the region's diversity, and aimed at seizing the opportunities that stem from the green and digital transitions."
The EU's New Agenda for the Mediterranean identifies five key policy areas. The first focuses on human development, good governance and the rule of law; the second, on resilience, prosperity and the digital transition; the third, on peace and security; the fourth, on migration and mobility; and the fifth, on green transition.
By Sibel Morrow