Blue Mediterranean Partnership steps up support for sustainable blue economy
- Blue Mediterranean Partnership to support transition to a sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean region
- Partnership to start operating in early 2024
- Partners aim to mobilise at least €1 billion in investments
At COP28, partners and donors involved in the Blue Mediterranean Partnership reinforced their support for developing the sustainable blue economy in the southern Mediterranean region. The parties involved signed a letter of intent to make their participation in the Partnership official and to make the Partnership operational in early 2024.
The Blue Mediterranean Partnership aims to tackle the threats the Mediterranean Sea faces by coordinating the financing of blue economy projects in the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions, focusing initially on Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.
Through a new multi-donor fund managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Blue Mediterranean Partnership seeks to secure additional funding from sovereign donors for project preparation and blended finance. Today in Dubai, the European Commission announced a contribution of €1 million, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) contributed SEK 75 million (€6.5 million), and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) announced a €2 million contribution. In the coming months, Germany and Spain are also expected to announce donations, with additional donors to follow.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), AFD, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the EBRD – will act as implementing financial institutions and cooperate to co-finance blue economy projects, which will benefit from the grants provided by the Partnership, mobilising also existing financial resources provided by the European Commission through the Neighbourhood Investment Platform and the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+).
Lastly, the beneficiary countries (Egypt, Jordan and Morocco) will lead on identifying strategic blue economy projects in their territories, while the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) will act as facilitator of the political and regulatory dialogue.
EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said: “The Mediterranean region has tremendous potential to spur economic growth if it is protected and developed sustainably. The EBRD is proud to have been entrusted to act as fund manager of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership, and our objective is now to deliver concrete results. Sustainable development and environmental protection are at the core of the EBRD’s mandate, and we will share our experience in delivering impact through environmental partnerships. None of this would be possible without the support of our donors and partners. Only by working together can we tackle challenges for the benefit of millions of people in the region.”
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “It is great news that the Blue Mediterranean Partnership is ready to start operations. The initiative is an excellent example of our commitment to restoring ocean health and fostering biodiversity and the climate resilience of Mediterranean coastal areas. Supporting the wellbeing of coastal communities and investing in the sustainable blue economy makes sense economically and is also vital in tackling global challenges like food security, nature protection and climate change.”
UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel said: “The Mediterranean region, with its beautiful coastlines and diverse ecosystems, is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, water scarcity and extreme weather events. The signing of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership is a significant milestone that reflects our shared commitment to working together, pooling resources and achieving success in addressing the climate emergency in the Mediterranean.”
European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “We are putting the sustainable blue economy at the top of the agenda in the broader Mediterranean region. We believe this Partnership can contribute to the prosperous future of the Mediterranean countries, so that our seas can keep providing for future generations.”
Sida Director-General Jakob Granit said: “Enabling infrastructure investment in wastewater treatment, marine renewable energy and sustainable shipping that protects marine resources and creates much-needed jobs is directly in line with Sweden’s development priorities for the MENA region. Sida’s support to the Blue Mediterranean Partnership will contribute to regional economic integration and it will be an important vehicle for mobilizing climate finance to vulnerable coastal areas.”
AFD CEO Rémy Rioux said: “The Mediterranean Sea is a cradle of civilization, but also a symbol of the pressures resulting from urbanization, overexploitation, and global warming. We have a common responsibility to do more for its protection and act in a more coordinated way, with the right financial tools, and at the right scale. This is why partnerships like the BMP are so important. AFD’s contribution to the BMP is also one of the examples of France strong commitment to push an action agenda for the oceans towards the UN Ocean Conference (UNOC) organized in Nice in 2025.”
The Blue Mediterranean Partnership was launched in 2022 at COP27 in Egypt and has already received strong political support from beneficiary countries and partners.
The Mediterranean Sea basin is a recognised marine biodiversity hotspot and a vital resource of economic activities for 480 million people living in the region’s 22 countries. Its ecosystem is under threat from habitat loss and degradation, over-fishing, pollution and climate change.
The Partnership aims to bring together international donors, beneficiary countries, interested financial institutions and philanthropic institutions to support policy reforms, attract donor funding, and mobilise public and private financing for projects in the region.
The primary objectives of the Partnership are to support sustainable blue economy investments that crowd-in public and private sector finance, enhance capacity on sustainable and innovative practices and in the design and delivery of projects, and create and reinforce enabling environments for sustainable blue economy investments through the support and development of strategies, policies and regulatory frameworks.
The Partnership’s priority areas include plastic waste reduction, coastal resilience investments, sustainable tourism, wastewater treatment, circular economy, and marine biodiversity.
EIB at COP28
Find an overview of EIB activities at COP28 on our website. The EIB has a pavilion in the side event area of the blue zone and is running a series of events on numerous topics. You will find the full agenda here. You are welcome to join to watch the sessions either live or later at your convenience. In addition, the EIB shares a pavilion with the group of multilateral development banks. You will find the full agenda here.
About the EIB
In 2019, the EIB’s energy lending policy was adopted to end financing to any unabated fossil fuel energy projects, including natural gas, the first multilateral development bank to do so.
In 2021, the EIB became the first MDB to align our financial activities with the Paris Agreement.
With its Climate Bank Roadmap the EIB Group aims to support €1 trillion of investment in climate action and environmental sustainability through the critical decade, 2021-2030.
The EIB has committed to increase investment in climate action and environmental sustainability to more than 50% of annual EIB lending by 2025 — last year that was exceeded with 58%.
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to operations outside the European Union, and a key partner of the EU’s Global Gateway strategy. We aim to support at least €100 billion of investment by the end of 2027, around one-third of the overall target of Global Gateway. Within Team Europe, EIB Global fosters strong, focused partnerships alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the EIB Group closer to local communities, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.