A new report says climate change and unchecked development in the
Mediterranean region could sharply degrade the area and cost poorer
countries in the region billions of dollars in the coming years. Lisa
Bryant has more on the findings from Paris.
Authored by the U.N.
Development Program and the European Investment Bank, the new study
describes the dangers of unsustainable energy consumption, climate
change and development on the arid, fragile and species-rich
Mediterranean. Environmentalists consider the area a "hot spot" when
it comes to climate change - meaning it is among those regions most
vulnerable to rising temperatures resulting from greenhouse gas
The United Nations' Henri-Luc Thibault, director of
Plan Bleu, or a "blue plan" for ecologically friendly development in
the Mediterranean region, says the fallout from climate change will be
particularly costly for eastern and southern countries bordering the
Mediterranean - counties like Tunisia or Egypt. He spoke in Paris.
cost of non-action ... is 30 billion U.S. dollars. It represents the
cost of [doing nothing] in terms of energy efficiency and renewables in
the eastern and southern Mediterranean countries," Thibault said.
contrast, Thibault said, the cost of promoting energy efficiency is far
cheaper - and the study looked at the case of Tunisia and Egypt.
Meanwhile, the fallout from business as usual - that is unchecked
economic growth - could be devastating.
countries - those in Africa or the Middle East - would suffer from less
rainfall and rising temperatures, and rising sea levels could affect
islands. By contrast, there could be more rainfall in northern
regions, like the Alps.
In two weeks, leaders from Europe and
the Mediterranean region will gather in Paris to sign a new
Euro-Mediterranean plan. Many of these nations are part of Plan Bleu -
and agreed three years ago to develop the Mediterranean area in a
environmentally sound way.
"What we are presenting right now is
to ask the head of states and the heads of government of these rim
countries to act in the field of energy efficiency and the field of
renewables," he said.
The report's recommendations include
better energy and water conservation, sustainable shoreline development
and protection of the marine environment, and sound agricultural and