Public – private partnerships for climate action in the Mediterranean region
Success stories from both sides of the Mediterranean. A dedicated side event was held at the COP23 to showcase Spanish action for multi – stakeholder engagement, alongside EU-supported private sector initiatives in Lebanon and Morocco. The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, and the ClimaSouth project, funded by the European Union (EU), were the lead organizers of the side event, which took place in Bonn, Germany, on 16th November. The moderator, Federica Pesce, (European Commission DG NEAR – Regional Programmes Neighbourhood South), said in her introduction : “The Paris Agenda and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action have provided governments, businesses, non-state actors and ordinary citizens many opportunities to seize, and many companies worldwide have already embraced the transition towards low carbon economies and climate resilient societies. Yet enabling conditions still need to be reinforced and in some cases created”.
Spanish action for multi – stakeholder engagement. The Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition and the public private cooperation platform in the process of being developed by Spain, were presented by Isabel Garcia Tejerina (Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment Kingdom of Spain). A brief video was projected on the key principles behind Spanish-supported climate initiatives. Valentin Alfaya (President, Spanish Green Growth Group - SGGG), illustrated a public-private partnership currently being piloted in the country, with the aim to incorporate climate policies in business strategies. Non-state climate relevant initiatives for sharing, up-scaling and mainstreaming climate action in the country, were further presented by Victor Viñuales (ECODES Director, Community #PorElClima).
EU-supported private sector climate initiatives in Lebanon and Morocco. Two initiatives supported by the ClimaSouth project, targeting the private sector, were featured. The Lebanon Climate Act (LCA), and Climate Champions initiative, promoting corporate climate action in Lebanon, were presented by Nada Zaarour (President, Green Mind NGO) and Vahakn Kabakian (Lebanese Ministry of Environment). The initiative already involves more than 100 companies in the country, with eleven climate champions already implementing corporate action plans developed under the LCA. A new video, designed to promote the Climate Champions initiative on social media, was premiered at the side event. A parallel initiative by the Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), supporting enterprises in accessing technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and access climate financing, was presented by Houda Bouchtia (Director, Moroccan Business Climate Initiative - MCBI). Moroccan enterprises are assisted in turning climate risks into economic opportunities, through awareness, training, and the development of climate projects eligible for funding by international financiers.
Tools supporting public – private partnerships are inspiring governments to greater ambition in moving towards a low carbon economy. Two recent specialized guidebooks were presented at the side event. The tools serve to help orient businesses towards climate action, while extracting lessons which may be cohesively up scaled in the wider Mediterranean region. The “Guide Entreprise Maroc Climat”, targeting the Moroccan private sector, informs managers about the economic impacts of climate change, while providing businesses with a number of tools to get involved with climate action. Reconciling climate objectives with competitiveness is at the core of the guidebook published under the LCA, with support from the ClimaSouth project. By assisting private companies kick start the process of corporate climate action, the solution-oriented engagement of the Lebanese private sector in the fight against climate change is gaining momentum,