Saturday | 20 Jul 2024


The ETU Initiative conference was completed with great success at EMEA HQs in Barcelona

The Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), partner of the Interreg MED Renewable Energy project, organised and hosted a conference to showcase and disseminate the Ecosystemic Transition Unit (ETU) Initiative. Over 60 persons, representing universities, research institutions and local authorities from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece participated face to face at the Conference, at the EMEA HQs, in Sant Pau Recinte Modernista, Barcelona. The conference was hybrid and several speakers connected to the sessions online. The event took place on 15th, 16th and 17th March 2022 and it was broadcasted live on Youtube.

The conference started with welcome addresses by EMEA President, Prof. Rym Ayadi, Danilo Ceh, Project Manager, BISTRA and Nicolas Garnier, Project Officer, Interreg MED Programme Joint Secretariat.

A keynote panel on “Energy Transition in Rural and Island Areas: Challenges and Opportunities” was moderated by Kostas Komninos, General Director, DAFNI, with the participation of Grammenos Mastrojeni, Senior Deputy Secretary General, UfM, Julije Domac, President, FEDARENE, Jesús Pulido, Head of DG Infrastructures, Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Lisanne Raderschall, Policy Analyst, OECD, and Alberto Giaconia, Researcher and Project Coordinator, ENEA.

Following this, Dr. Cynthia Echave, Project Coordinator & Senior Researcher, EMEA, explained the ETU Initiative pillars and a panel moderated by Alexia Boulanger, Project Developer, Environment Park, discussed the “ETU Initiative Flagship Cases: Experiences and Lessons Learnt“.

The 1st day ended with an expert panel on “Resilient Communities and Territories: Planning, Financing and Governance” and 4 ETU Pillars parallel sessions on Energy Planning, Energy Facilities, Energy Communities and Energy Governance & Financing.

The 2nda day of the Conference started with the keynote speech “What transition scenarios for the Mediterranean & Africa 2050” by EMEA President Prof. Rym Ayadi and continued with two expert panel discussions:

Expert panel 1: “Governance and Cooperation in Mediterranean and Africa”, moderated by Prof. Rym Ayadi, with the participation of Rosa Surinach, UN-Habitat, Octavi Quintana, Director, PRIMA Secretariat, Curzio Cervelli, Coordinator, Interreg MED Programme Joint Secretariat and Moubarack Lô, Director General, Bureau of Economic Prospective, Senegal

Expert panel 2: “Capacity building and knowledge transferring in Mediterranean and Africa”, Moderated by Dr. Cynthia Echave, Project Coordinator & Senior Researcher, EMEA, with the participation of Alessandro Miraglia, Networking and Communication Team Lead, SCP/RAC, Josep Canals, Director, MedCities, Roger Albinyana, Managing Director, IEMed, Djiby Thiam, Professor of Economics, University Cape Town, and Sherif Dawoud, Deputy Head, Egyptian Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.

The conference ended with a discussion panel on “Green Transition”, moderated by Yara Saab, Coordinator of Operations, SCP/RAC and a special online session on “Sustainable Finance” took place, moderated by Prof, Rym Ayadi with the participation of Nagla Bahr, Credit Guarantee, Egypt and chairwoman of EMGN; John Kofi Adomakoh, GCB Bank Plc, Ghana, Kwame Sarpong, KPMG, Ghana, Ralph Chami, Co-Founder, Rebalance Earth and Chuckwumerije Okereke, Director, Center for Climate and Development University Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria.

Closing the conference EMEA President Prof. Rym Ayadi underlined the importance of accelerating the green transition by enhancing the participation of the private sector in particular the financial sector by providing them the right incentives to green the economy to comply with the Paris agreement targets. The new paradigm anchored in developing the nature based capital and solutions to tackle climate change should be acknowledged and mainstreamed to ensure that the nature based services to sequester carbon are properly valued and used. EMEA will continue developing innovative concepts to tackle climate change and mainstreaming them in the Mediterranean and Africa.

ETU Conference video Day 1:

ETU Conference video Day 2:

Event report

The Ecosystemic Transition Unit (ETU) Initiative has been created and promoted by Interreg MED Renewable Energy as a platform to foster the ecosystem approach to energy transition, capitalising on knowledge transfer and transnational cooperation across the Mediterranean region. The ETU Initiative involves local authorities and entities involved in energy transition projects through their Regional Groups.