Climate change is increasingly factored into a variety of development plans: such as how to manage the more severe and frequent extreme disasters we are seeing and their associated risks, how to protect coastlines and deal with sea-level encroachment, how to best manage land and forests, how to deal with and plan for reduced water availability, how to develop resilient crop varieties and how to protect energy supply systems and public infrastructure.
Many adaptation and mitigation solutions can help address climate change, but no single option is sufficient by itself. Effective implementation depends on policies and cooperation at all scales and can be enhanced through integrated responses that link mitigation and adaptation with other societal objectives.
All countries are impacted by climate change, with some countries being more vulnerable than others, which exacerbates water scarcity, flash floods, see level rise, desertification, etc. The most affected are cities and urban areas. Therefore, a resilient urban future is needed and it requires tackling challenges and creating solutions in a place-based, integrated, inclusive, risk-aware, and forward-looking manner. On the other hand, there is an urgent need to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate change.
The energy transition is a pathway toward transformation of the global energy sector from fossil-based to zero-carbon. Renewable energy and energy efficiency measures can potentially achieve 90% of the required carbon reductions by 2050. However, decarbonisation of the main sectors of the economies requires urgent action on a global scale but also at national and local levels. The European Union (EU) is actively working with other countries and regions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. It promotes ambitious climate action in multilateral fora and in its bilateral cooperation with countries outside the EU including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Moreover, the new European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral and climate resilient by 2050. Hence, there is definitely a potential mutual learning between European cities and GCC cities in terms of climate action and energy transition plans.
This workshop will be an opportunity to share experiences and got a better understanding of the current adaptation and mitigation solutions and set recommendations for all kinds of stakeholders, in particular municipalities, local authorities, NGOs and the private sector. The aim of this virtual event is twofold:
- Discuss the development of local capacities and climate adaptation and mitigation solutions in urban areas and the development of climate action plans that take into consideration the imminent challenges threatening the cities of the region including energy transition as well as the commitment vis-à-vis the international and national agendas (e.g. Paris agreement, UN Sustainable Development Goalss, energy transition targets, etc.)
- Exchange relevant knowledge, best practices, information, and lessons learned and advance regional initiatives on climate action and the integration of clean and smart energy technologies in particular at urban level.
In this context, the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network, the Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT) and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) are organising a virtual conference on "Climate Action and Energy Transition in EU and GCC: Adaptation and Mitigation Solutions”. The online conference will be held on Wednesday 7 July 2021 at 10.00 CET/12.00 GST.