Ministers attending the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) meeting in Athens today issued a Declaration of their commitment to tackle the growing climate and environmental challenges facing the region. It is the first time climate change has been discussed at ministerial level within the UfM, a partnership promoting multilateral cooperation between 43 countries (28 EU Member States and 15 Mediterranean countries).
Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “We have renewed our political commitment to de-pollute the Mediterranean Sea and taken important steps to increase our cooperation on climate change and sustainable consumption. Now the real work will start. We need to translate the political commitments in the Declaration we have adopted into action, both at national and regional level.“
Commenting on the declaration, EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: ”I’m very glad that on both sides of the Mediterranean, we have decided to step up our common efforts in the fight against climate change. We are committed to an ambitious, legally binding deal in Paris next year as agreed in Durban, and are determined to work more closely together to make it happen. The Mediterranean region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, but is also rich in opportunities for low-carbon development, including significant potential for renewable energy and energy and resource efficiency. In recognition of these challenges and opportunities, we have also established a regional climate change expert group for cooperation across the Mediterranean.”