The 3rd Sustainable Energy Summit for Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean was held in Athens by the Institute for Climate and Energy Security on the 18th and 19th of May. The purpose of the Summit was to establish the Mediterranean region as the center of green energy for Europe and to confront the challenges of climate change through environmental policies and partnerships between the public and private sector. Among the key issues discussed were the following:
- methods that may be applied to decrease the carbon footprint of Southeast Europe countries,
- necessary steps that will make the Mediterranean region the energy powerhouse of Europe,
- investment opportunities in renewable technologies in the Mediterranean region.
More specifically the presentations focused on the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies and the need for a united CCS policy in the Mediterranean region. A critical step towards that direction is the EU Directive 31/2009 according to which industrial CO2 emissions shall be captured and safely maintained in special facilities instead of being released in the atmosphere. All state members are obliged to incorporate the directive until June 2011. The Greek Minister for the Environment, Energy and the Climate Change referred to the attempts of the Ministry to encourage energy investment with simplified procedures and financial incentives. The Minister mentioned that the recently voted Bill for Accelerating the Development of Renewable Energy to combat Climate Change is orientated towards that direction.