The CPMR took part in a major international conference on Climate Change and Natural Disasters, organised by the Attica region on 31 October.

The conference, which took place at the Amphitheater of Athen’s Acropolis Museum, was launched by the Regional Governor of Attica, Rena Dourou. The meeting was held under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, with the participation of international bodies, professors and researchers.

It involved key discussions on ‘Climate change and natural disasters in southern Europe’ and ‘Early warning systems to respond to natural disasters’.

At the meeting, Stavros Kalognomos, Executive Secretary of the CPMR’s Balkan & Black Sea Commission (BBSC) spoke about climate change’s impact in coastal regions, stressing that Mediterranean regions are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change on the ground, such as rising sea levels, coastal erosion, droughts and floods, and are on the front line when it comes to experiencing the signs of climate change.

He outlined the key messages on climate change from the Final Declaration of the 2018 CPMR General Assembly, which express alarm at the increasing impact of climate change in maritime regions, which exacerbates phenomena such as the proliferation of invasive marine species, and hurricanes, storms, floods and fires that hit several CPMR Member Regions. It calls on the EU to reaffirm the objectives of carbon neutrality and limiting global warming to 1.5°C in the forthcoming strategy for reducing emissions.

The Executive Secretary also highlighted several EU cooperation projects involving the CPMR, which are focused on dealing with issues related to climate change in the Mediterranean. These include CO-EVOLVE, MPA-Adapt, PANACEA and SIMWESTMED.

Speaking at the workshop on ‘Climate Change and Natural Disasters’, Rena Dourou stated: “Those who remain unprepared skeptics about the existence or not of the phenomenon have nothing but to look around – Climate change, in different forms, is here.”

The Regional Governor explained that the Attica region “did not expect these developments to take a seat“. She stressed: “It is our strategic choice to seriously and systematically address climate change and its consequences.

Watch the video of the address given by Regional Governor of Attica, Rena Dourou, at the conference: