The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministers responsible for Energy met in Lisbon today, 14 June, for the 3rd Ministerial Meeting on this topic. The Portuguese Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, hosted the meeting, which was organised under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and co-chaired by Hala Zawati, Jordanian Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, and Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy. Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the UfM, was also present.
Among other initiatives, this meeting of UfM Ministers responsible for Energy approved:
- the joint promotion of the transition to a sustainable recovery route after COVID-19, in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – particularly SDG 7: “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” – the goals of the Paris Agreement and the ambitions of the UfM Ministerial Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change
- the intention to revise, redesign and implement roadmaps and targets for energy efficiency in all sectors and policies
- the political intention to continue to support regulatory measures and the policies needed to achieve regional integration of energy systems and markets in the Euro-Mediterranean area, increasing the renewable energy rate in order to achieve an economy of scale and increase the security of supply and demand
- working together to reinforce regional electrical connections, smart networks and digitalisation (for which cybersecurity requirements are an important element)
- working with national education and research institutions to increase public awareness of energy, climate, mobility and environmental issues, particularly among the younger generations.
The UfM ,inisters responsible for Energy also recognised:
- the benefits arising from a predictable, secure, affordable and sustainable energy supply for the people and the economies of the region
- the high vulnerability of the Mediterranean region to climate change and environmental degradation, impacting on water resources that are already stretched, and implications for agriculture
- the projected increase in the share of primary energy supply coming from renewable energies, which are abundant in this region, such as green hydrogen
- the ambition of the European Green Deal for the EU Member States, particularly the aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the aim of achieving a reduction of at least 55% of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990, adopted by the European Council, and the EU’s post-COVID-19 recovery and resilience plan, promoting a rapid and inclusive recovery and speeding up the green and digital transitions
- the different initiatives promoted by the European Commission, including the European Union's strategy for hydrogen, for the integration of the energy system, for methane, for offshore renewables and for smart and sustainable mobility, as well as the Renovation Wave initiative.
The UfM is a Euro-Mediterranean intergovernmental organisation consisting of all the countries in the European Union and 15 countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean.
The mission of the UfM is to reinforce regional cooperation, dialogue and the implementation of projects and initiatives with a tangible impact on citizens, especially young people and women, with the aim of achieving the three strategic goals of the region: stability, human development and integration.