As President of OME, I am particularly glad that all the Mediterranean countries were part of the meeting that took place on April 22, 2016 at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, and where 175 Parties have committed to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Paris Agreement marked a historical step in taking action on climate change.  After years of negotiation, countries agreed to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

The Mediterranean region is one of the most prominent and vulnerable climate change “hot spots”. The energy sector in this context, both from supply and demand sides plays an important role. OME Publication Mediterranean Energy Perspectives, MEP2015, clearly indicates that a business as usual trend does not meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and a new path should thus be followed.

The challenge therefore lies in the implementation so as to be able to reach the objectives of the Agreement and deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy services to the Mediterranean citizens. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted prior to COP21 by the Mediterranean countries show that the willingness is there and ambitious actions in the energy sector, and in particular in renewable energy and energy efficiency, are targeted by all.

In this context, the energy companies are among the important actors and OME will strive to help meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and of a sound energy transition in the Region by promoting cooperation and exchange of best practices among its members supported by the OME think tank. As a first step, OME scenarios are being revisited against the proposed Mediterranean INDCs to assess the path to a desirable energy future and OME will actively contribute to MEDCOP22 and COP22.

We perceive the Paris Agreement as a signal for a new dynamic for OME in support of a shared sustainable energy future in the Mediterranean region: a roadmap of actions and projects towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement and its follow-up has been identified and will be implemented. OME is willing to join forces with regional organizations and partners sharing the same vision to develop such projects.

Bruno Lescoeur
OME Chairman

Photo by IISD/Francis Dejon