The regional conference welcomed during one and half day around 100 participants, mostly from Mediterranean countries. They represented a panel of ministers, high rank civil servants of the central and local governments, entrepreneurs, academics, and other experts. The conference combined presentations by experts and in-depth discussions with the audience. The presentations provided information on the process of implementing policies and business strategies, and on lessons learnt from experiences with a focus on best practices observed in the most relevant sectors, on policy instruments available, and on the contribution of the private sector. The sessions of day 1 were dedicated to a presentation of opportunities related to the green economy. The sessions of day 2 aimed at discussing the conditions for the implementation of the green economy agenda by public and private agents.
The conference aimed at:
Two publications were presented:
The 2012 MED Report is produced by the CMI under the lead of the World Bank, and in collaboration with CMI partners: the European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency, Plan Bleu. The Forum Euro-Méditerranéen des Instituts de Sciences Economiques (FEMISE) was in charge of the technical coordination. To gather material for the report, a series of national and regional consultations was organized to identify representative case studies and stakeholder experiences with environmental and growth issues in the southern and eastern countries of the Mediterranean. The team benefited greatly from a wide range of comments and advice on local priorities from the policy makers, private agents, and academics who participated in the consultations. The report takes stock of local experiences and is rooted in Mediterranean good practices.
The report presents recommendations for actions to implement, mostly in terms of strategies and public policies. It intends to highlight the potential co-benefits that can be generated by green growth. There are opportunities of short term co-benefits- both economic and environmental- in particular in the sectors of energy efficiency, air and water pollution control, and solid waste management. One of the first recommendations of this report is to “put energy and water efficiency as the first priorities”. Shifting to green growth in the Mediterranean is possible but implies implementing effective tools of environmental action, in particular fiscal reforms, market-based instruments, and incentives for environmental responsibility. Therefore, this report recommends to “Reduce regressive subsidies to enhance the social acceptance of a green agenda, and combine with complementary measures to cancel the negative impact on the poor” or to “Tackle market failures through institutional innovation, regulation, ecolabelling, and innovation and industrial policy”.
These Recommendations were prepared by a Working Group made of experts of the civil society from a number of Mediterranean countries and working independently. The Group considers green economy as a necessary, efficient, and achievable path in the Mediterranean region, towards sustainable development and a common economic and environmental future. Thirty six Recommendations were adopted to promote a green economy in the Mediterranean region, in support of sustainable development and poverty reduction, seizing environmental opportunities for growth and employment creation. They deal with the roots of a green economy:
1) Governance and framework conditions (e.g. promotion of green technology and innovation, revision of legislative, regulatory, fiscal and information frameworks),
2) Improvements to market mechanisms (e.g. environmentally harmful subsidies, green taxes, economic instruments),
3) Green project opportunities (e.g. energy saving, renewable energies, water services, resource efficiency, biodiversity protection) and job creation (e.g. strengthened role of SMEs, inclusive growth for the young and the poor),
4) Knowledge of the green economy (e.g. indicators, peer reviews, capacity building),
5) Public financing and opportunities for private institutional investors.
For further information: http://www.green-economy-in-med.com