MedECC had the honor of participating in the 9th meeting of the UfM Climate Change Experts Group (UfM CCEG) at the Union for the Mediterranean. The meeting brought together a wide range of actors (representatives of UfM members, civil society, NGOs, scientific experts…) around different topics, all related to climate action in the Mediterranean region. The two days meeting (4 and 5 May 2023) provided a framework for discussion and networking aimed at creating and strengthening synergies between the various climate-related actors, and enriching their exchanges.
MedECC was represented by Joël Guiot, co-coordinator, who shared progress on the 2021-2023 work program centered on the production of three special reports linked to specific themes considered essential for the sustainable future of the Mediterranean region: 1) Coastal climate and environmental risks, 2) Nexus between climate, water, energy, food and ecosystems (WEFE), 3) Environmental change, conflicts and human migrations. This was an excellent opportunity to highlight the current efforts of hundreds of volunteer scientists and experts to update the assessment of scientific knowledge on the challenges of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean, and make it accessible to decision-makers. These three special reports should prove an essential resource for the science-policy interface in the Mediterranean region, as was the First Mediterranean Assessment Report – MAR1 – published in November 2020.
The MAR1 also prepared the essential foundation for the first chapter on the Mediterranean Basin in an IPCC report (in the format of a Cross-Chapter paper), published 2022 as part of the IPCC 6th Assessment. Piero Lionello (University of Salento (Italy), MedECC and IPCC author) recently stated in an interview that the mere fact that a chapter dedicated to the Mediterranean has been included in the IPCC report shows how the risks of climate change in this region have been perceived at intergovernmental level (Interview ERT News, 18 April 2023). The scientific literature on which the IPCC and MEdECC reports are based clearly highlights these risks.
In this meeting, the IPCC was represented by Anna Pirani, Head of the IPCC WGI Technical Support Unit and Senior Research Associate, Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Cliamte Change (CMCC, Italy). She is currently Coordinating Lead Author of the MedECC Special Report on coastal risks. She presented the state of knowledge on climate change relevant to the Mediterranean Region included in the latest IPCC 6th Assessment Reports (WG I, WG II, WG III), highlighting how the climatic impact-drivers are observed and projected to change in the region, and how risks caused by climate change become more complex and difficult to manage with every increment of warming.