CREAF is taking part in COP 27 on climate change to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt) from 6 to 18 November 2022, as it has been an observer organisation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since June this year. In addition, Alicia Pérez-Porro, scientific coordinator of the centre, has been invited to take part in two round tables as well as moderating a third one scheduled in the new Mediterranean Pavilion of the COP 27, included as a space for debate in the Blue Zone for the first time in the history of the Conference of the Parties on climate. In these two debate sessions, CREAF will present its experience in the field of environmental diplomacy and its research in regenerative agriculture and soil restoration, especially focused on the challenges facing vineyards in the face of climate change.
CREAF scientific coordinator Alicia Pérez-Porro, CREAF researcher & UB professor Jofre Carnicer, and pre-doctoral researchers Maria Vives Ingla and Angham Daiyoub take part in COP 27.
CREAF researcher and professor at the University of Barcelona Jofre Carnicer and CREAF pre-doctoral researcher Maria Vives Ingla are also part of the COP 27 Generation initiative, promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge together with the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE). In addition, CREAF pre-doctoral researcher Angham Daiyoub will also be present at the conference invited by the NGO New Women Connectors for Inclusion and Social Justice to speak on 16 November on the day dedicated to biodiversity.
Science must be present in international multilateral conventions such as COPs, because of the scientific component of the issues being addressed and to inform the solutions being proposed.
The COP 27 edition is the second time that CREAF has been present at this international multilateral forum, although it is the first time that it has actively participated in discussion sessions. “It is important for a research centre to be present at international multilateral conventions such as COPs, not only because of the scientific component of the issues being discussed, but also because the solutions proposed must be informed by science”, according to Alicia Pérez-Porro. And she adds: “Scientific diplomacy, in this case on environmental issues, is part of any international research centre and it is important to give it relevance in order to contextualise the research we carry out”.
The COP 27 main focus is climate finance, “an unequivocal political signal”, in the words of Alicia Pérez-Porro, who also stresses that developed nations should be involved in financing the consequences of climate change in less favoured territories. The EU’s negotiating agenda at the Egypt meeting also includes tackling climate crises and biodiversity loss, globally and in a coordinated manner. This deeply connects COP 27 on climate with COP 15 on biodiversity (which takes place from 7-19 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada), and poses a commitment to work together.
“Terrestrial and marine ecosystems’ health is key to solving the climate and biodiversity crisis. Scientific knowledge is inherent in the solution: to understand the context and to collaborate by focusing on the possibilities”
ALICIA PÉREZ-PORRO, CREAF scientific coordinator
Debate with a Mediterranean focus
The first Mediterranean Pavilion in the history of the COP is an opportunity to address the challenges facing the Mediterranean region in the context of climate change. The aim of this space is to bring together representatives of a region that is warming at a very rapid rate and where extreme climatic phenomena are becoming more pronounced .
From CREAF, we take part in the round table ‘Science Diplomacy and Climate Change: The Mediterranean as a global testbed’, convened by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) on Thursday 10 November, to discuss the role of science as an evidence-based discipline in joint initiatives against climate change.. The meeting will be moderated by Cristina Russo, Director of Global Approach & International Cooperation in R&I at the European Comission General Directorate General for Innovation. In addition to Alicia Perez-Porro del CREAF,other speakers will include the President of the Royal Scientific Society de Jordània, Sumaya Bint-EL Hassan; theAfrican Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mohamed Belhocine; the President of PRIMA Foundation, Angelo Riccaboni, and the Euorpean Comission‘s Science Diplomacy Coordinator, Jan Marco Müller.
We also participated in the round table ‘Mediterranean agri-food systems and climate change: what adaptation solutions for the grape and wine sector’ organized by CIHEAM on Tuesday 14th November, on strategies for adapting agri-food systems to climate change, with a special focus on the wine sector. Therefore, in addition to the scientific coordinator of CREAF, Pau Roca, director of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) and moderated by Raúl Compés, Director of CIHEAM Zaragoza. CREAF will present various scientific studies on how to adapt vineyards to the effects of climate change, several cases of soil regeneration, the effects of heat waves on crops and measures to adapt to water use, among others.
Alicia Pérez-Porro will also moderate the round table ‘Still keeping 1.5º C alive’ on Saturday 12 November, with the participation of Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet, the Climate Change Governance Group of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Earth Action, Climate Scorecard and the Asociación Proteger.
A space for consensus and action
The first Mediterranean Pavilion of the COP gathers public and private, scientific, academic, technical, political, civil society, financial and business representation, with the commitment to address the climate crisis in a coordinated manner.
The first Mediterranean Pavilion of the COP is a space with public and private, scientific, academic, technical, political, civil society, financial and business representation, with the commitment to address the climate crisis in a coordinated manner. It was created with the aim of being a meeting point to share, raise awareness and promote solutions to the climate challenges facing the Mediterranean region today.
The space is driven by the Union for the Mediterranean, the United Nations Environment Programme – Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP-MAP), the PRIMA Foundation, and a scientific committee led by the network of Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change (MedECC) which brings together the 600 scientists whoin 2020 signed the 1st Mediterranean Assessment Report, the first scientific assessment of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean region The Pavilion is also driven by a number of organisations including CIHEAM, MedWaves, Plan Bleu, Interreg Mediterranean and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), to name a few.
The meeting in Egypt marks the beginning of collaboration between various intergovernmental, political, cooperation and research bodies in the Mediterranean, although it is not the first time that a Conference of the Parties has been held in a country on the southern shore of the Mediterranean: COP 22 took place in Marrakech (Morocco) in 2016.
CREAF, committed to the Mediterranean
The southern shore of the Mediterranean is a natural area for CREAF’s scientific work, with the necessary relationship with the northern shore and with Brussels, as the epicentre of politics and international relations. For this reason, the centre has recently promoted a strategy and a series of actions in the region to continue contributing through science to a more resilient, fairer and safer Mediterranean for all. Among others, it has strengthened links with research centres with which it had already collaborated, as well as initiating new avenues of scientific work that are materialised in research projects, exchange in debate forums, programmes of visits by scientific personnel and collaborations of an institutional nature.