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 the 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.
"Climate Action and Energy Transition in EU and GCC: Adaptation and Mitigation Solutions” Draft Agenda
Master of Ceremony: Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Clean Energy Key Expert, EU GCC CETN
Welcome remarks: (10 min)
- Mr. Frank Wouters, Director, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Mr. Khalid Mohammed Badri, Director of the Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT)
- Mr. Pier Roberto Remitti, Team Leader EU support to GCoM Secretariat, Belgium
Session 1: Resilient urban futures: Enhancing local capacities and adaptation/mitigation solutions (60 min)
Moderator: Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Convener, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Moderator remarks (5 min)
Presentations: (50 min)
- Mrs. Roula Majdalani, Cluster Leader, Climate Change and Natural Resources Sustainability at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Lebanon
- Prof. Salvatore Carlucci, Coordinator of the Task Force on Built Environment, The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus
- Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf Abdel Hamid, Sustainability Research Program Manager, GRC, Jeddah, KSA
- Mrs Montse Hernández Martín, Head of the Strategic Development Unit of the Parks and Gardens and Green Infrastructure Service, Zaragoza City Council
- Eng. Reham Jammal, Urban Planner, Director of Planning Department, Director of International Projects & Programs Unit, Greater Irbid Municipality/Jordan
- Q&A moderated discussion (10 min)
Session 2: Climate action and energy transition in cities:: Governance, technology and financing (60 min)
Moderator: Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Key Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Presentations: (50 min)
- Dr. Maged Mahmood, Acting Executive Director, Technical Director, Lead RE Expert, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Egypt
- Catarina Freitas, Head of Department for Innovation, Environment, Climate and Sustainability Economy, Innovation and Communication Municipal-Directorate, City Council of Almada, Portugal
- Mr. Andy Deacon, Acting Managing Director, Global Covenant of Mayors and Dr. Alexandra Papadopoulou, SKE on Climate Action and Sustainable Energy - GCoM Support
- Mr. Qais Bader Al Suwaidi, Director, Climate Change Department, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Dr. Osamah Alsayegh, Executive Director, Energy & Building Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research
Q&A moderated discussion (10 min)
Wrap Up & Closing (5 min)
- Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Convener, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Clean Energy Key Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Mr. Frank Wouters, Director, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Mr. Frank Wouters has been leading renewable energy projects, transactions, and technology development for over 25 years. He has played a lead role in development of renewable generation projects valued at over $4.5 billion. These range from small scale PV solar electrification in Uganda to the 100MW Shams I Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) in the UAE, and strategic equity investment in the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind project. His transactions have received multiple project finance “Deal of the Year” awards. As Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organisation dedicated to all renewables, he managed a US$350 million IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development project facility for RE. He appraised over 80 projects a year and recommended projects for funding, including solar PV projects in Africa. Furthermore, he coordinated with government ministers and other stakeholders to promote private sector investment for RE projects as part of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor Initiative. Mr. Wouters has served on the board of several energy companies, including Torresol Energy (Spain and USA), WinWind (Finland and India), Masdar cvua (Netherlands), NICE (Netherlands and The Gambia) and Gorestreet Capital (UK). Qualified with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University, he is fluent in English, German and Dutch.
Mr. Khalid Mohammed Badri, Director of the Environmental Center for Arab Towns
Mr. Pier Roberto Remitti, Team Leader EU support to GCoM Secretariat, Belgium
Piero Remitti, currently leading the EU Support to the GCoM Secretariat in Bruxelles, is a senior policy adviser in the area of Sustainable Urban Development, Climate Action and City planning/management, with more than 30 years working experience and a wide country coverage across EU, Balkans, Middle East (Syria, Turkey), SE Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka) and Africa (South Africa). Since 2017 he contributed significantly to the start and consolidation of the GCoM Regional branches in South and South East Asia. He has a considerable track record in international cooperation projects and programmes, including:
- 35 years working experience designing, implementing and monitoring programmes integrating sustainable development, climate action, urban development, environmental management and decentralization policies.
- 20 years conducted at international level as Team Leader and/or Key Expert of EU funded projects for implementation of EU environmental/sustainable development/low carbon policies and standards at national, regional and urban/local level.
- Vast experience with IFIs procedures: programmes/projects identification/formulation, Project Cycle Management, programmes/projects monitoring and assessment.
- In-depth experience in participatory planning and policies formulation processes.
Dr. Jauad El Kharraz, Convener, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Senior Water-Energy-Climate expert and Corporate Entrepreneur at INNOVO Innovation Ltd. He has been the R&D Director at the Middle East Desalination Research Center, Oman (2015-2020), in charge of research programs/ projects on sustainable desalination technologies, renewable energies for desalination, water-energy-food nexus, climate change, and science diplomacy. He launched the USD 700.000 Prize Oman Humanitarian Desalination Challenge with his colleagues in MEDRC on 2018 and took part of its judging committee panel as well as its parallel research pathway panel. He has been projects manager at the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector (EMWIS), France (2004-2015). Earlier he was research at the Global Change Unit, University of Valencia (Spain), and he is still a Visiting researcher. He also worked as senior consultant for Sud-Convergences (France), and Expert Evaluator of the EC DG Research & Innovation (currently evaluator for the EU Green Deal proposals). He got MSc & PhD degrees in Earth Sciences (Physics) from the University of Valencia, Spain. He also got a Diploma in Enterprises Management & Strategy from SKEMA Business School, France. He is Co-founder and Secretary General of Arab World Association of Young Scientists and member of the Society for the Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World (SASTA), and alumni of the Global Young Academy (GYA). He organized and launched an important number of scientific events and networks. He chaired the evaluation for national & regional programs, such as the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Program on Water and the Euro-Mediterranean regional Program PRIMA. He joined recently the advisory board of the Norwegian company “Ocean Oasis” working on offshore desalination solutions, the COMSTECH Scientific Advisory Council (COMSTECH-SAC), the EMME-CCI Task Force on Water Resources, the International Desalination Association and the European Desalination Society where he was elected as a board member, and he is member many other international scientific boards and PhD thesis & competitions judging committees such the annual Omani water research awards, the Omani Energy Majlis and he joined the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technologies Network in Abu-Dhabi as convener. He was nominated in 2011 by the French Ministry of High Education & Research as representative at the Intergovernmental framework for EU Cooperation in Science & Technology (TN1301). He was also co-leader of water panel at the WANA Forum. Dr. Jauad was one of 40 scientists worldwide selected for the “World Economic Forum’ for New Champions” in Tianjin, 2012. He joined the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic in 2014 and became the founding curator of Nice’ hub (France). He has published and contributed to hundreds of conferences in more than 55 countries, journals and reports in the aforementioned fields. He co-authored UNESCO Science Report 2015. He has built a strong record of attaining progressively responsible managerial positions during his 20 years international career (MENA & Europe) in relation with sustainability, climate change impact and management of natural resources (water, energy, food, etc.) and agriculture. He demonstrated efficiency in diversifying the funding of his organizations through obtaining funds from the European Commission programs as a PI, coordinator and contributor (FP7, H2020, ENPI CBC Med, INCO MED, INCO NGOs, SMAP, LIFE, PRIMA, etc.) and also from international donors such as GIZ, USAID, and national ones such as the research council of Oman, and also through CSRs from embassies and private companies (e.g. oil and gas companies, water & energy utilities, etc.). Dr. Jauad is fluent in French, Arabic, Spanish and English.
Mrs. Roula Majdalani, Cluster Leader, Climate Change and Natural Resources Sustainability at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Lebanon
Ms. Roula Majdalani, Cluster Leader, Climate Change and Natural Resources Sustainability Cluster, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Ms. Majdalani served as ESCWA Acting Deputy Executive Secretary between October 2018 and February 2019, and has previously served as Human Settlements Officer, First Economic Affairs Officer on water resources, and Chief of the Technical Cooperation Section. Ms. Majdalani holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning (Syracuse University) and worked with Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (London). She has publications on green economy, integrated management of water resources, housing development and sustainable cities, and has led multi-stakeholders programme and initiatives on climate change, governance of natural resources and water-energy-food security interlinkages.
Prof. Salvatore Carlucci, Coordinator of the Task Force on Built Environment, The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus
Dr. Mohamed Abdelraouf, Sustainability Research Program Manager, GRC, Jeddah, KSA
Dr. Raouf is currently the chair of the Major Groups Facilitating Committee (MGFC) at UN Environment representing Science and Tech. Major Group. Dr. Raouf leads the Gulf Research Center research program on Sustainability and Environmental Issues. He is also a non-resident environmental researcher working with many think tanks in the MENA region and Europe. Dr. Raouf was the lead author for UNEP GEO-5 and 6 Reports, West Asia chapter on Environmental Governance section. Dr. Raouf authored five books on various environmental sustainability issues.
Mrs Montse Hernández Martín, Head of the Strategic Development Unit of the Parks and Gardens and Green Infrastructure Service, Zaragoza City Council
She graduated in Technical Forestry Engineer and Forestry Engineer at the University of Lleida (Spain) and she complemented her academic training with a Master in Environmental Impact Assessment and a post-graduate studies in restoration of degraded sareas. Currently she is a public servant of the Zaragoza City Council where she acts as a Head of the Strategic Development Unit of the Parks and Gardens and Green Infrastructures Service since 2008. Her work in the Zaragoza City Council is oriented to the management of environmental impact, natural resources and wild flora and fauna and she is also working with the General Directorate of European Funds of the Zaragoza City Council.
Eng. Reham Jammal, Urban Planner, Director of Planning Department, Director of International Projects & Programs Unit, Greater Irbid Municipality, Jordan
Eng. Reham Jammal is the Director of Planning Department & International Programs and Projects Unit, Greater Irbid Municipality GIM, Irbid 2015- until Now. In addition she is the head of committee of preparing Irbid Strategic Plan 2019-2023, the head of committee of preparing local strategic waste management plan and the head of committee of preparing local energy management plan .Moreover she is the contact person for Energy & Waste Projects funded by EU, the head of committee of establishing & operating Irbid Central Vegetables & Fruits Market and she was member of committee of preparing Irbid Master Plan 2009-2010.
Dr. Mustapha Taoumi, Clean Energy Key Expert, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Dr. Taoumi has been leading Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency projects and technology deployment for over 30 years. He has worked with US AID, GIZ (Germany), JICA (Japan) and EU (DGXII) as Project and Programme Manager. He has conducted numerous feasibility and planning studies, building programs and has implemented projects on the ground. He assisted local institutions to develop strategic plans in sustainable energy. He managed numerous seminars and training workshops concerning the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Dr. Taoumi was also involved in several initiatives and projects with a regional scope particularly in MENA and Mediterranean regions including the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP). As a Regional Programme Officer for North Africa and the Middle East region (MENA) within the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organisation dedicated to all renewables, Dr. Taoumi managed several projects and initiatives across MENA region including Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA), assessment of local manufacturing potential in the Arab region and recently the Pan Arab Clean Energy initiative (PACE). Dr. Taoumi held several key positions including Secretary General and Interim Executive Director within the National Renewable Energy Centre (CDER) in Morocco - now transformed on a National dedicated Agency (ADEREE) as well as Executive Secretary of the Mediterranean Association of the National Agencies for Energy Conservation (MEDENER- Network). Before joining IRENA in 2010, he was nominated by the Ministry of Energy in Morocco as IRENA’s focal point and member of the IRENA’s Headquarters Selection Committee. Among other positions, Dr. Taoumi is an active member on several organisations, conferences and networks around the world including the MENAREC Conference International Steering Committee. Dr. Taoumi holds a PhD in Electrochemistry from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG) in France and master's degrees in Electrochemical Engineering and Management Science, he is fluent in English, French, Spanish as well as Arabic.
Dr. Maged Mahmood, Technical Director, RECREEE, Egypt
Dr. Maged Mahmoud is the Acting Executive Director and Technical Director of the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE). He has over twenty-five years of professional multidisciplinary technical expertise and recognized achievements in the fields of sustainable energy (SE) transition in North African and West Asian Arab states. During his tenure at RCREEE, 17 Arab countries and many international organizations; such as IRENA, LAS, WB, UNDP, UNE, EU, AU, UfM, REN21, AREI, and others, acknowledged RCREEE as the regional partner to support introducing SE policies and implementation mechanisms focusing on public private partnerships and green/climate finance. Dr. Mahmoud assisted several Arab countries to develop programs and action plans, introducing business models and instruments for private investments, including utility scale developers and MSMEs. He has an active role in strengthening regional cooperation and is a lead author/contributor to shaping concrete regional initiatives such as the “The Arab Sustainable Energy Strategy - Action Plan”, “Arab RE Framework”, the “Guideline for RE Integration with National Grids” and others. Dr. Mahmoud has a special focus on the energy access issues and effective business models engaging local banks and communities, also addressing fragile situation in politically unrest and war affected countries. Further, he collaborated with global actors to provide tools to assess the socio-economic impacts of the decentralized SE solutions. Before RCREEE, Dr. Mahmoud served for about 15 years at the Egyptian New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA). Among his achievements, Dr. Mahmoud deeply contributed to planning and contracting several hundreds megawatts of wind energy projects on the Red Sea coast amounting to more than USD 700 million. He contributed significantly in setting the Egyptian RE 2022 strategy, and in the design of the “best-fit” measures for its implementation including feed-in tariffs, competitive bids and net metering. Further, he participated in developing the quality infrastructure for testing solar thermal and energy efficiency systems in Egypt. Dr. Mahmoud has managed and contributed to over 40 research projects and studies in the sustainable energy fields in collaboration with national and international organizations. He is a certified trainer and author/co-author of over 50 specialized publications and research articles. Dr. Mahmoud holds the “Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research Award for Development and Innovations in Renewable Energy” since 2001.
Catarina Freitas, Head of Department for Innovation, Environment, Climate and Sustainability Economy, Innovation and Communication Municipal-Directorate, City Council of Almada, Portugal
Catarina Freitas is a Chemical Engineer and has a MSc. in Chemical Engineering at the Technical University of Lisbon, with PhD studies in environmental sciences and technology, from the Technical University of Lisbon and the University of St. Andrews, UK. She has been Head Officer for Energy, Climate, Sustainable Mobility and Environmental issues at the Municipality of Almada since 1997. At the present she is the Head of Department for Innovation, Environment, Climate, and Sustainability of Almada City Council, President of the Strategic Council of the Natural and Conservational Area of Caparica Fossil Cliffs, as well as the Executive Member of the Board of AGENEAL, the Local Energy Management Agency of Almada. Prior to working in the City Council of Almada and AGENEAL, she was a researcher at the Engineering Institute of the Technical University of Lisbon (1992-1996), where she developed national and EU-funded projects, in partnership with several European Universities and R&D centres. Among other important activities, she is now coordinating the Local Climate Action and the development of Circular and Smart City Strategy 2030. In that framework, she is responsible for the technical and financial management of several European projects and partnerships. Author and co-author of several presentations and papers on municipal energy and environmental management, energy efficiency, nature based solutions, climate change and urban sustainable mobility
Mr. Andy Deacon, Acting Managing Director, Global Covenant of Mayors
Andy has been part of the Global Covenant of Mayors secretariat team since January of 2020 and is working to guide programme management and delivery across all of GCoM’s areas of actvity. Andy has worked for 25 years across a range of environmental protection issues focusing on climate change, energy and air quality in local, regional and central government, academia and NGOs. He has advised Mayors, Councillors and Ministers on city scale carbon reduction and climate adaptation, community energy, home retrofit financing, household energy saving behaviour and air pollution assessment and management. Andy has a BSc in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Surrey Roehampton Institute and an MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climatology from the University of Birmingham.
Dr. Alexandra Papadopoulou, SKE on Climate Action and Sustainable Energy - GCoM Support
Alexandra Papadopoulou is deeply familiarised with the energy and climate planning context at the local, regional and national level and the available tools (market, legislative, institutional and technical) and policies, as she has been collaborating with national and regional/ local authorities for more than 15 years in the field. Over the last decade, she has been working with local authorities in Europe and the MENA region, while she is also a member of the CoM-Med Secretariat (Clima Med team). Alexandra has 18 years of research and work experience in the energy and climate sectors. In the above-mentioned fields, she has 13 publications in international peer reviewed journals and 2 book chapters.
Mr. Qais Bader Al Suwaidi, Director, Climate Change Department, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Qais Al Suwaidi is Director of the Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). In this role, he manages the National Climate Change Adaptation Program, a nationwide multisectoral risk assessment and adaptation planning effort aimed at improving the resilience of economic, social, and natural systems in the UAE. Qais also leads the implementation of the UAE’s Nationally Determined Contribution, with the aim of reducing the UAE’s GHG emissions in line with the country’s economic diversification efforts. Qais also leads the UAE’s Climate Change Research Network, which brings together a group of committed climate scientists and researchers to facilitate dissemination of knowledge and advance development of research collaborations. Internationally, Qais is a lead UAE negotiator in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He also represented the UAE in the 2020 G20 climate meetings and is a member of a number of national and international committees. Al Suwaidi holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), a Master in International Law, International Relations and Diplomacy degree with a specialization in Sustainable Development from Sorbonne University, and a BSc in sciences from the University of Melbourne.
Dr. Osamah Alsayegh, Executive Director, Energy & Building Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research
Dr. Osamah Alsayegh is the Executive Director of the Energy and Building Research Center, and Acting Executive Director of the Environment and Life Sciences Research Center at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), He was part time Assistant Professor at the College of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University from 2000 to 2008. Dr. Alsayegh has been leading and participating in national energy system planning and strategy development projects since 2000. Among such projects include the development of a National Strategy for the Exploitation of Renewable Energy, Shagaya Renewable Energy Park (Phase-1), Development of Sustainable National Energy White Paper, and Kuwait Energy Outlook Program. Dr. Alsayegh received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1990, 1995 and 1999, respectively. He is a member of the Kuwait Society of Engineers and the International Association for Energy Economics.
The training material, video and presentations, are available at the Network's e-training centre here.
The registration for the online conference is now open. You may register your interest to attend here.
For more information, you may contact the Network Secretariat at contact[at]eugcc-cleanergy.net