In preparation for COP 27, CIDOB’s Global Cities Programme and CREAF, with the support of Barcelona City Council, organise this workshop to identify key areas and next steps for collective urban climate action across the Mediterranean basin, and establish regional cities’ primary concerns to bring to the table at COP 27. To encourage a science-based multi-level dialogue, the workshop gathers experts and representatives of city networks and intergovernmental organisations.
Warming 20% faster than the global average, the Mediterranean region is a hotspot of the climate emergency. If untamed, this trajectory can turn into a serious stability risk. More than ever, the region needs strong transnational cooperation on policies for sustainable development that can mitigate climate and environmental risks, and promote adaptation solutions. With around 70% of the Mediterranean population residing in urban areas, collective urban climate action will be central to this endeavour.
Mediterranean cities are both disproportionately affected by climate change impacts and uniquely positioned to drive climate action. The concentration of populations, infrastructure, and assets in the region’s cities, and their clustering in coastal areas makes them highly vulnerable to more frequent and intense extreme weather events, floods, sea level rise, landslides, droughts, and heat waves, all of which will have enormous impacts on human health and well-being. In turn, with urban areas being major polluters and emitters, city-level climate action is vital for the achievement of countries’ 2030 and 2050 climate targets. Especially in the South and East Mediterranean, where rapid urban growth is causing unsustainable development trends that aggravate environmental degradation and adversely affect cities’ climate resilience (including weak land use regulation, energy, water and waste management inefficiency, and a lack of low-carbon mobility modes), policies that boost local mitigation and adaptation strategies are urgently needed.
Over the past decade, cities have firmly established themselves as capable climate governors that are gaining increasing influence in the global climate regime through networks like C40 Cities and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. However, this urban climate agenda is largely led by cities from the global North, and it still has little momentum in the Mediterranean. To drive and accelerate Mediterranean urban climate action, stronger cooperation between cities from the North, South and East is needed, as well as new platforms for multi-level Euro-Mediterranean dialogue and cooperation that address the regional climate emergency with a special focus on urban areas. Peace and stability in the Mediterranean no longer just depend on strong political, economic and sociocultural ties, but increasingly also on environmental collaboration. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership urgently needs to add a fourth “basket” on environmental cooperation to its activities, and cities need to be central to this work.
Getting ready for COP 27
COP 27, which is to take place in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt in November 2022, represents a unique opportunity to promote joined-up Mediterranean urban climate action. The summit’s prioritization of adaptation and finance for adaptation are particularly relevant for cities in the South and East Mediterranean which face greater risks from climate and environmental changes and damages.
In preparation for COP 27, CIDOB’s Global Cities Programme and CREAF, with the support of Barcelona City Council, are organizing a one-day workshop to (1) identify key areas and next steps for collective urban climate action across the Mediterranean basin, and (2) establish regional cities’ primary concerns to bring to the table at COP 27. To encourage a science-based multi-level dialogue, the workshop gathers experts and representatives of city networks and intergovernmental organisations. The discussions of the workshop will be organised around two panels addressing key underlying themes of COP 27 and the specificities of urban climate action in the Mediterranean region: 1) climate adaptation and finance; and 2) rapid urban growth.
The results of the workshop will be published in a briefing paper that will be circulated among participants and relevant decision makers before and during COP 27.
Agustí Fernández de Losada, Senior Research Fellow and Director, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs)
Bàrbara Pons, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Barcelona City Council
Alicia Pérez-Porro, Scientific Coordinator, Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF)
Ines Duarte, Project Manager, Energy and Climate Action, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
Priscilla Negreiros, Manager, Cities Climate Finance Alliance, Climate Policy Initiative (online)
Maryke van Staden, Director, ICLEI carbonn Climate Center
Chair: Ricardo Martínez, Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB
Karim Elgendy, Associate Fellow, Environment and Society Programme, Chatham House (online)
Marco Orlando, Project Officer, PRIMA Foundation
Carolina Pérez, Senior Project Manager, MedCities
Rosa Suriñach, Partnerships, Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator, City Resilience Global Programme, UN-Habitat
Chair: Alicia Pérez-Porro, Scientific Coordinator, CREAF
Ricardo Martínez, Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB