By Thomas Kissel for Greekreporter
The nine EU leaders present at the EUMED 9 summit in Athens have signed the Athens Declaration to fight climate change. The declaration reaffirmed the nine leaders commitment to upholding the Paris Accords, an international agreement signed by the EU and 190 parties to stabilize the world’s emissions in an effort to counter climate change.
The Athens Declaration states that the nine leaders will:
– Recognise the Mediterranean as being extremely vulnerable to the impact of climate change and prone to extreme weather events, and that it experiences more frequent, extensive and intense heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall, floods and forest fires.
– Recognise the need for decisive adaptation to these phenomena and for resilience policies in line with the new EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and for prevention measures in all areas expected to be significantly affected in the Mediterranean region, including environmental and socio-economic sectors, as climate change poses serious risks to the environment, to society and to economy.
– Agree to work closely together to build synergies promoting the necessary transition from fossil fuels to Renewable Energy Sources and low-carbon energy technologies.
– Agree to promote climate change adaptation solutions based on the function of nature itself, and to ensure adequate protection, in particular of ecosystems critical to disaster prevention, such as coastal zones, watersheds, wetlands, forests and also urban areas.
– Emphasise, anew, that the climate crisis is a global threat which requires coordinated international action, and therefore they call on all countries to act collectively and without further delay, as the UN Secretary-General said on August 9.
– Call on all international partners, in particular the G20 countries, to ratify the Paris Agreement and announce ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
– Recognise the commitment to the rapid development of technologies and policies that further accelerate Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR).
– Call on all countries to participate in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26, Glasgow, October 31-November 12, 2021) at the level of Heads of State & Government, and to commit to the goal of being climate-neutral by 2050.
Historic EUMED 9 summit, where Athens Declaration was signed, took place this Friday
The EUMED 9, where the Athens declaration was signed, took place on Friday afternoon. Along with addressing climate change, the summit also tackled migration, Turkey, and Afghanistan.
The EUMED 9 enabled representatives from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Malta, Greece and Cyprus, Slovenia and Croatia to speak together on these pressing matters with European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen.
Greece, the host nation of the summit, experienced devastating fires just last month, when the island of Evia, along with many sites on the mainland and the Peloponnese, went up in flames, fanned by an ongoing drought and sweltering temperatures.