Download publication

Policy Brief

The Euro-Mediterranean energy relationship: a fresh perspective

The author analyses the current renewable energy development in Southern Mediterranean countries (SMCs) and proposes a climate financing strategy that retreats from the Eurocentric approach. Not only will it allow the region to meet its energy demand sustainably, it will also benefit the EU, both in economic and political terms.

By: Date: October 16, 2018 Topic: Energy & Climate

This paper was produced with the financial support of Compagnia di san Paolo and presented in the framework of the Policy responses for an EU-MENA shared future event, jointly organised with the OCPPC.

The issue

Energy is a fundamental component of the economic relationship between the European Union and southern Mediterranean countries, largely driven, so far, by Europe’s quest for oil and gas supplies. However, given the booming energy demand in southern Mediterranean countries and their great solar and wind potential, regional energy cooperation should also strongly focus on fostering large-scale deployment of renewable energy. This would allow southern Mediterranean countries to meet their increasing energy demand in a more sustainable way, and would also have positive economic and political benefits for Europe.

Policy challenge

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, southern Mediterranean countries adopted post-2020 plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and set targets for deployment of renewables. However, these commitments are largely conditional on international climate finance support being provided. Europe could scale-up its climate financing in the southern Mediterranean, but this should be linked to the implementation of certain energy reforms in those countries. Reforms should not be aimed at transposing in southern Mediterranean countries the EU framework and rules, but rather at removing the main barriers to the private sector’s engagement in those countries’ renewable energy sectors. This could be done by promoting pragmatic solutions to specific legal, regulatory and financial bottlenecks. Greater climate financing should be provided only when southern Mediterranean countries implement such solutions in practice. Helping southern Mediterranean countries meet their energy needs in a sustainable way would also benefit Europe by opening up new business opportunities for European energy companies, promoting the export of European renewable energy technologies, guaranteeing the stability of future gas exports from the region to Europe, promoting economic development in southern Mediterranean countries and delivering on those countries’ pledges under the Paris Agreement.

View comments
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Demystifying carbon border adjustment for Europe’s green deal

From carbon leakage to “green protectionism”, the European Green Deal envisioned by the incoming Commission has many critics. But some adjustments to the deal could make domestic manufacturers more carbon efficient while simultaneously encouraging foreign producers to become more environmentally friendly.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Energy & Climate Date: October 31, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

COP 21 RIPPLES: What are the key elements of an adequate global response?

The Dialogue focuses on technology, finance, industrial transformations and the political economy, which are identified by COP21 RIPPLES as key leverage points for triggering transformation.

Speakers: Michel Colombier, Marta Torres-Gunfaus, Henri Waisman and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 22, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Cross-border, but not national, EU interregional development projects are associated with higher growth

Our calculations reveal that places where EU regional development projects bind together participants from different countries experience higher economic growth. Purely national interregional projects, on the other hand, are not associated with such benefits. The results hold across regions of different levels of income and consider the effects of other growth-determinants. Cross-border projects might bring efficiency gains, unlock synergies and provide knowledge transfers, boosting activity, with gains going beyond the projects’ scope. Cross-border projects could provide perhaps the only rationale for the continued cohesion/regional funding of more developed regions.

By: Zsolt Darvas, Jan Mazza and Catarina Midoes Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 14, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: The Green New Deal

In this Director's Cut of 'The Sound of Economics', Guntram Wolff and Simone Tagliapietra discuss the division of tasks for the new EU commissioners, following Ursua Von der Leyen's announcement of roles on 10th September. They specifically zoom in on the role of the Green Deal, one of the flagship projects of this commission.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 11, 2019
Read article

Blog Post

How long is the head table?

An empirical assessment of concentration in global collective action

By: Jan Mazza and Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Energy & Climate, Global Economics & Governance Date: August 28, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author

External Publication

The impact of the global energy transition on MENA oil and gas producers

Endowed with half of the world's known oil and gas reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is cornerstone of the global energy architecture. This article argues that – together with the pressing need to create jobs opportunities for a large and youthful population – the possibility of the world moving more aggressively towards a low-carbon future should represent a key argument for the implementation of economic reform programmes.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: August 5, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

The EU needs a bold climate strategy

Scientists report that global temperature increases must be limited to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. With global greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase and rising temperatures driving up the frequency of extreme weather events, the world needs a greater commitment to climate policy.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 19, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Deep Focus: Energy transition in the next EU institutional cycle

Bruegel fellow Simone Tagliapietra speaks to Sean Gibson in this instalment of 'The Sound of Economics', on the matter of the European energy transition and how the EU should proceed in the new institutional cycle.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 10, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Faut-il s’endetter pour le climat?

Jean Pisani-Ferry, soutient qu’il ne faut pas s’interdire de financer une partie du coût de la transition écologique par l’endettement.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 2, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

EU urgently needs to reverse its climate neutrality failure

Immediate action is necessary to ensure the EU can become carbon-neutral by 2050 and thus limit global warming. The rapid rise in support of this target in the last month suggests it is attainable, but the momentum must not be lost.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: June 28, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Deep Focus: Making a success of EU cohesion policy

Bruegel senior fellow Zsolt Darvas talks to Sean Gibson in this Deep Focus podcast about how the EU can improve its cohesion policy, citing the best examples of its implementation and stressing the methodological difficulties in measuring its effectiveness.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 20, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Brief

A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership

Memo to the presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. 'A strategic agenda for the new EU leadership' by Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram Wolff is the first of our 2019 Bruegel memos to the new presidents of the European Commission, Council and Parliament. Focusing on the most important economic questions at EU level, these Bruegel memos are intended to be a strategic to-do list, outlining the state of affairs that will greet the new Commission.

By: Maria Demertzis, André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 13, 2019
Load more posts