The Union for the Meditteranean has set climate-change adaptation, low-carbon development and fight agianst water pollution at the top of its agenda, with increased financial support for environmental projects and initiative being secheduled.
A new expert group established by the Union for the Mediterranean will encourage the exchange of information and best practice across the region and promote the development of projects and initiatives related to low emission and climate-resilient development. The expert group will bring together academia, civil society, the private sector, international financial institutions, investors and local and national administrations. Ministers renewed their support for the Horizon 2020 Initiative and the waste water, solid waste and industrial emissions sectors that it targets, and agreed to strengthen its pollution prevention dimension. They also stressed the importance of fully integrating action on climate change into national strategies, which will lead to greater mobilisation of financial resources from a variety of sources.
The Mediterranean region has been identified as a major climate change hotspot by experts. Future changes are expected to include temperature increases above the world average, lower rainfall patterns, and more extreme weather events.
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most important, but threatened, environmental assets of the European Union. It is a global biodiversity hotspot, its fisheries support the livelihood of tens of thousands of artisan fishermen around the basin and its beaches are the destination of choice for millions of tourists every year. Despite its economic and social importance, the sea is subject to significant environment degradation. The Horizon 2020 Initiative, endorsed during the last Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Environment, supports and complements the implementation of the commitments under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (the Barcelona Convention). It aims to tackle the sources of pollution that are said to account for around 80% of the overall pollution of the Mediterranean Sea.