The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) signed on 17 February in Paris a memorandum of understanding (MoU) setting out the outlines of closer co-operation between the two organisations on projects of mutual interest in the energy field.
“This memorandum of understanding is in line with the IEA’s objective of expanding bilateral energy programmes both with individual partner countries and inter-governmental organizations such as the UfM. Together, we will identify the challenges and opportunities that I am certain can best be addressed through joint action and collective responsibility,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol (right in photo).
UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi (left) stated that “fostering regional co-operation in the field of energy is paramount to effectively advance regional integration, stability and human development. The MoU with IEA represents a clear opportunity to develop synergies and implement joint actions that can contribute to these common goals.” The two parties share similar goals and have together identified a number of potential areas of co-operation. These include, but are not limited to, joint projects involving research and technical assistance; collaboration on joint publications; data sharing; training and capacity building; and regional co-operation on energy efficiency and renewable energies as well as the exchange of expertise between the two parties in areas such as climate change, the water-energy-food nexus and regional energy market integration. In order to give a new political impulse to regional co-operation on energy, the 43 UfM member states decided in May 2015 to establish three high level UfM Energy Platforms on gas, regional electricity markets, and renewable energy and energy efficiency. The MoU is valid for five years and may be extended for subsequent additional periods of three years.