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Initiative for Climate Change in the Mediterranean

Athens News Agency

“The first message the Initiative for Climate Change in the Mediterranean aspires to send out, in view of the UN Climate Chance Conference in Cancun in December, is that the countries in the region despite their different policies and cultural origin can jointly handle issues that are of great importance for the entire planet,” foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras stressed on Thursday.

He said that the text to be signed will reflect these positions and establish a process allowing the coordination of the countries. 

“The participation of regional leaders is of great significance,” he said, adding that “we want to promote cooperation between the public and private sectors for the creation of a new model of viable development that will allow the Mediterranean - among the threatened regions on the planet - to reach a new model of development.”

Prime Minister George Papandreou on Friday urged close cooperation among the countries of the Mediterranean to tackle the repercussions of climate change, stressing "this is the threat that unites us", opening a conference in the Athens coastal town of Vouliagmeni being held at the Greek premier's initiative and attended by regional leaders.

Opening the "Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative" (MCCI) conference, Papandreou stressed the significance of the high level of representation at the conference, noting in particular Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attendance.

"The fact that Turkey is represented here at high level, by friend Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is proof that the two countries can put aside their differences in the face of the common threats," Papandreou said.

"Having learned the value of cooperation in difficult conditions, Greece and Turkey stand united on one of the most important issues, that of climate change," he added.

From within the "bad scenarios" for climate change appearing to be coming true in the southeastern Mediterranean with increasingly frequenter extreme weather phenomena and threats to the region's unique agricultural production, "which is a capital for its culture", an opportunity arises, Papandreou said, that of taking advantage of the cooperation among the regional countries "to develop a new growth model, making use of the region's resources, to create new green industries".

"Our cooperation becomes even more mandatory because globalization, as it is developing, has created major inequalities, great instability, due to climate change, energy problems, dietary crises, a crisis in water management, but also due to economic clashes and recession," he said.

Later in the day, the leaders will sign a Declaration which, Papandreou stressed, "is not a declaration of intentions but a commitment that we will step up our cooperation on the Mediterranean, which is holding up to the changes but also utilises its rich resources".

"These changes are of historic significance. At threat is not only the climate but also our culture, our life, and the coming generations may simply remember today's Mediterranean as a memory," he said.

"That is why we have taken this initiative, I personally together with the prime minister of Turkey, to develop common actions and decisions so that the Mediterranean will have a stronger voice in the international negotiations on the climate, an appeal which has particular significance just one and a half months before the global conference in Mexico," Papandreou said, referring to the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun from November 29 to December 10.

Noting that there is skepticism on combating climate change, Papandreou said that that is why "we need to coordinate at international level".

That, he added, is the hardest part, "but it is also a challenge, because the planet is a single space and the path of cooperation is the only way to succeed".

"That is why we are here. To show that we can lead initiatives at regional level in the Mediterranean," the Greek premier said, adding that by "working together, we can emerge stronger and confront the problems that exist."

The MCCI conference is also being attended by Philippe Maystadt, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), which on Saturday is organising the first Mediterranean Greek Development Investors Forum that will also be attended by the regional leaders.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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