Following the success of the 1st International Conference in 2018, which led to the announcement of the Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East Climate Change Initiative (EMME-CCI) of the Cyprus Government for coordinating climate action in the Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East (EMME) Region, it is expected that the Conference in 2021 taking place on the 13 & 14 October 2021, will attract leading policy makers, scientists, prominent business people, key civil society stakeholders, and opinion-leaders from around the world.
At the Conference, the findings of the Regional Scientific Task Forces appointed in the framework of the Cyprus Government Initiative, will be presented and debated to form the basis of an EMME Regional Climate Action Plan. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the proposed measures and solutions and gain an in-depth understanding of the benefits from their implementation in the EMME region.
Although the focus of the Conference is regional, its intended impacts in regards to climate action are of global significance. Accordingly, the Conference is guided by an International Advisory Committee, while it also retains connections to distinguished European and Global networks that strongly support it.
The 2021 Conference will take place in a hybrid format. All Conference sessions will be livestreamed for online-only participants, while also hosting sessions onsite in Cyprus for in-person participation from attendees. The in-person component of the Conference will be hosted at the Aphrodite Hills Hotel.
The Conference will be preceded by two days of Scientific Workshops focused on aspects of air pollution and Climate Change in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. More information about the pre-conference workshops here.
WHY FOCUS ON THE EASTERN MEDITERANNEAN & MIDDLE EAST REGION
Recent studies from prominent institutions, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have classified the Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East (EMME) region as a global climate change “hotspot” with particularly high vulnerability to climate change impacts.
The EMME region is already facing adverse effects such as heat waves, droughts and atmospheric dust storms which are only due to intensify in the coming decades. Without proper mitigation and adaptation actions, these harmful effects could soon lead to intolerable environmental conditions, ultimately forcing mass migration for the 400 million people living in the region. This is expected to have widespread health and socio-economic implications for the region and the planet.
EMME is also a region with a complex geopolitical landscape, that historically has had limited dedicated scientific resources for climate research, which further adds to the challenge and urgency for concerted climate action in the region.
Coordinated, timely and science-based action is vital for addressing the climate crisis at a regional and global level and for ensuring humanity’s long-term prosperity. As the world retains immediate focus on tackling the health and economic emergencies brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must not lose sight of the vast and urgent challenges emerging from the climate crisis. We aim for the 2021 Conference to become a catalyst for boosting coordinated climate action in the region and encouraging necessary mitigation and adaptation steps for a safer, more sustainable future.
In May 2018, The Cyprus Institute hosted the 1st International Conference “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East: Challenges and Solutions” (www.climatechange2018.org ). The event was organised under the Aegis of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and with the support of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.
The conference was attended by more than 300 delegates from 35 countries, including leading international scientific and political personalities, such as Laurent Fabius (former Prime Minister of France, who presided over the success of the COP21 Paris Agreement), Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – SDSN), Prof. Petteri Taalas (Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation), Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Christos Stylianides (EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management), and many others.
The principal conclusion of the Conference was that regional concerted climate action is urgently needed. This led to the Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East Climate Change Initiative (EMME-CCI) of the Cyprus Government, which was launched by H.E. President Anastasiades in March 2019.