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Policy Brief

The Euro-Mediterranean energy relationship: a fresh perspective

The author analyses the current renewable energy development in Southern Mediterranean countries (SMCs) and proposes a climate financing strategy that retreats from the Eurocentric approach. Not only will it allow the region to meet its energy demand sustainably, it will also benefit the EU, both in economic and political terms.

By: and Date: October 16, 2018 Topic: Green economy

This paper was produced with the financial support of Compagnia di san Paolo and presented in the framework of the Policy responses for an EU-MENA shared future event, jointly organised with the OCPPC.

The issue

Energy is a fundamental component of the economic relationship between the European Union and southern Mediterranean countries, largely driven, so far, by Europe’s quest for oil and gas supplies. However, given the booming energy demand in southern Mediterranean countries and their great solar and wind potential, regional energy cooperation should also strongly focus on fostering large-scale deployment of renewable energy. This would allow southern Mediterranean countries to meet their increasing energy demand in a more sustainable way, and would also have positive economic and political benefits for Europe.

Policy challenge

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, southern Mediterranean countries adopted post-2020 plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and set targets for deployment of renewables. However, these commitments are largely conditional on international climate finance support being provided. Europe could scale-up its climate financing in the southern Mediterranean, but this should be linked to the implementation of certain energy reforms in those countries. Reforms should not be aimed at transposing in southern Mediterranean countries the EU framework and rules, but rather at removing the main barriers to the private sector’s engagement in those countries’ renewable energy sectors. This could be done by promoting pragmatic solutions to specific legal, regulatory and financial bottlenecks. Greater climate financing should be provided only when southern Mediterranean countries implement such solutions in practice. Helping southern Mediterranean countries meet their energy needs in a sustainable way would also benefit Europe by opening up new business opportunities for European energy companies, promoting the export of European renewable energy technologies, guaranteeing the stability of future gas exports from the region to Europe, promoting economic development in southern Mediterranean countries and delivering on those countries’ pledges under the Paris Agreement.

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Past Event

Past Event

[Cancelled] Shifting taxes in order to achieve green goals

[This event is cancelled until further notice] How could shifting the tax burden from labour to pollution and resources help the EU reach its climate goals?

Speakers: Niclas Poitiers and Femke Groothuis Topic: Green economy, Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 12, 2022
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Opinion

For Europe, an oil embargo is not the way to go

Even at this late hour, the European Union should consider taking a different path.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 9, 2022
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External Publication

The Global Quest for Green Growth: An Economic Policy Perspective

A review on green growth and degrowth arguments.

By: Klaas Lenaerts, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: May 5, 2022
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Opinion

A tariff on imports of fossil fuel from Russia

A tariff on imports of Russian fossil fuels would allow Europe to hit Russia's energy sector without great suffering.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 2, 2022
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External Publication

How to weaken Russian oil and gas strength

Letter published in Science.

By: Ricardo Hausmann, Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Axel Ockenfels, Ulrich Schetter, Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 2, 2022
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Opinion

A phase out of Russian oil may be less effective than a tariff at reducing Putin’s rents

A punitive tariff on all energy imports from Russia would be a better choice than a gradually phased-in embargo on selected fuels.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 2, 2022
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Blog Post

How a European Union tariff on Russian oil can be designed

The European Union should apply a tariff on imports of Russian oil; it can be accompanied by a quota for a gradual, conditional phase-out of all Russian oil imports.

By: David Kleimann, Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: April 29, 2022
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Opinion

EU risks letting Putin’s gas divide-and-rule strategy win

The 2 May meeting of EU energy ministers should deliver strong and common EU action. Failing to do so would undermine Europe’s unity, energy security and foreign policy.

By: Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: April 29, 2022
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Opinion

Europe must get serious about cutting oil and gas use

As energy security risks increase, European governments must stop subsidising oil and gas, and ask people to consume less.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: April 29, 2022
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Working Paper

Cutting Putin’s energy rent: ‘smart sanctioning’ Russian oil and gas

The most efficient way for Europe to sanction Russian energy would not be an embargo, but the introduction of an import tariff that can be used flexibly to control the degree of economic pressure on Russia.

By: Ricardo Hausmann, Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Axel Ockenfels, Simone Tagliapietra, Ulrich Schetter, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: April 28, 2022
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Blog Post

Climate migration: what do we really know?

While uncertain, studies suggest that climate change will cause significant internal and international migration over the next century.

By: Klaas Lenaerts and Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Global economy and trade Date: April 25, 2022
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Blog Post

A sanctions counter measure: gas payments to Russia in rubles

A requirement for gas to be paid for in rubles is a way for Russia to side-step central bank sanctions.

By: Maria Demertzis and Francesco Papadia Topic: Global economy and trade Date: April 19, 2022
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