More than 50 participants representing the six countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Jordan) discussed during two days the next steps to be taken towards more efficient, greener and smarter cities in the southern Mediterranean. This activity hosted by the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) gave the opportunity to the representatives from the twelve municipalities implementing the European Union (EU) funded SUDEP South Project of presenting its latest developments and lessons learned.
Throughout this two day event organised by the SUDEP South SM team, EU and UFM officials, national and regional stakeholders from the participating countries were briefed by the SUDEP South Team Leader, Naceur Hammami, with the latest developments of the project implementation. This discussion brought participants to open interesting debates over the energy challenges in the participating countries.
Team leaders from other EU initiatives such as CES-MED or MED-ENEC were as well present and contributed to open the discussion on the future steps to be taken in the region with regards to energy efficiency and smarter cities.
For the SUDEP South the sustainability of this initiative is important, therefore a session with regards to international funding was organized. As an outcome of this session, a document ‘Guidelines on access to finance’ has been published and its being distributed among the twelve participating municipalities.
The activity concluded with a field visit to the city of Granollers- signatory of the Covenant of Mayors- that allowed participants an exchange of best practices in energy efficiency. Participants could visit the new street public lighting with LED bulbs, the geothermal installation in the city museum.
SUDEP-South project started its activities in early 2015 over 12 cities in 6 countries of the southern Mediterranean. The overall objective of the SUDEP Programme is to assist local authorities on responding to sustainable energy challenges.
The specific objective is to enable local authorities to implement sustainable energy actions leading to energy savings, energy efficiency and more use of renewable energy sources as solar energy.
A Support Mechanism (SUDEP-South SM) has been established and operated to:
· Assist local authorities and reinforce their capacities and their partners in the implementation of their demonstration projects.
· Promote the replication of innovative actions and the visibility of the programme’s results.
· Create the enabling environment for the exchange of good practices between projects beneficiaries
· Develop their own local strategies to ensure widespread dissemination and sustainability of their projects.