Shafeeq Ghabra and Eman Ragab at the IAI conference on “The GCC in the Mediterranean in Light of the Arab Spring”. Rome, 28.6.2012
On June 28, IAI organised an international Conference on “The GCC in the Mediterranean in Light of the Arab Spring” in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). The Conference debated the potential for political and economic cooperation between the GCC and North Africa as well as the implications for the transatlantic community in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.
Cooperation on energy, environment and climate change is at the heart of the joint action programme for the implementation of the cooperation agreement between the EU and the GCC. Increased cooperation and knowledge sharing would indeed benefit both parties: on the one hand, the EU is a net energy importing country and has been a pioneer in the definition of long-term policy objectives seeking to ensure a low-carbon, more secure energy mix as well as achieving a more sustainable footprint. On the other hand, the energy-rich GCC countries are pressed by a series of environmental concerns, of which water scarcity is certainly one of the main issues, and have some of the highest CO2 emissions per capita in the world. There is an evident opportunity for technology exchange and joint research and for advancing policy dialogue between the two parties on such strategic topics. In this respect, the decision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to designate Qatar as the hosting country for the next Climate Conference is certainly a positive sign, as this would turn GCC countries into key players in the climate policy debate and in the identification of more innovative technology solutions.
The research will explore ways to enhance the cooperation between the EU and the GCC in the field of energy, environment and climate change. More specifically, a Research Paper based on the analysis of primary and secondary data will be prepared, with a specific focus on the energy sector and main related issues. In addition to the paper, commentaries will be prepared on EU-GCC cooperation on climate change and on EU-GCC cooperation in the environment field.