Barcelona, May 21, 2021 – By Anwar Zibaoui, General Coordinator at ASCAME –
Whatever the new normal, it will be defined by the decisions made now. Therefore, it is essential to take advantage of the rays of hope in the form of initiatives and proposals that the COVID-19 tsunami has left us. We cannot allow ourselves to repeat the same mistakes and return to the same paradigm of an unsustainable economic model; nor go back to the old attitude of getting the economy back on track at the expense of the planet. Natural disasters and climate change are problems that are affecting the world drastically. We know the limited resources available, so we need to face the responsibility to respond appropriately with durable solutions.
The option is to create a sustainable living concept that addresses current issues with the aim of providing a better future, while preserving tradition and heritage. Imagine a community that provides its residents with many opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life and strives to conserve and improve its economy, its environment, and the health and well-being of its people. In other words, an autonomous and sustainable project for which the preservation of the environment is a priority and where people adopt a productive and healthy lifestyle. Something that is a great challenge.
The rush to get back to “business as usual” should not lead us back to another decade of unprecedented greenhouse gas emissions and the 10 hottest years in human history. The 2010s will be remembered as the ones that led to a potentially catastrophic 3.2 degrees Celsius warming in the world.
The global recovery can only be led by a global energy transition that integrates stimulus packages for renewable energy into national budgets around the globe, facilitating job creation and higher economic growth.
Renewable solutions can add 98 billion euros to the global economy in the coming years, generating more jobs, greater economic growth, better living conditions and improved well-being in a sustainable, low-carbon climate, which in turn supports the foundations for stable long-term economic development.
In the last decade, the world has invested almost 3 billion dollars in renewable energy, which has doubled the installed energy capacity. Renewable energies represent 25% of energy generation and 35% of the world’s energy capacity. The costs of solar and wind energy have been reduced, making them now often the cheapest sources of new energy capacity.
Although the havoc wreaked on global supply chains also impacts the renewable energy industry, as parts, materials and supplies for projects will be shipped from different parts of the world.
In the Mediterranean region the approach towards sustainability and renewable energy must be comprehensive and drive the necessary changes not only in production and consumption, but also in collaborations between multiple stakeholders: in public-private partnerships, in thought eco-friendly economic and green financing options. We are aware that everyone must participate in this movement to produce the necessary impact for lasting change.
The empowerment and inclusion of youth and women is vital to promote the adoption of sustainable practices and clean energy sources. The increased contribution of women to building a sustainable future has made the sector more dynamic.
The need for a comprehensive plan to promote renewable energy in a sustainable way is paramount, as population growth and economic diversification have led to increased energy demand. Renewable energies, although a relatively recent player in the regional energy landscape, have great potential to reduce energy costs in the long term; reduce carbon emissions; conserve water scarcity, and create jobs.