On 3 November, the University of Barcelona will host a university simulation of the United Nations Annual Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27), organised together with PRIMA (a scientific innovation programme of the European Union and nineteen Mediterranean countries), the Vives University Network and Pompeu Fabra University. The meeting, which is open to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students, will discuss various proposals aimed at mitigating and reducing the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness among students of the need to adopt measures and take action regarding the climate crisis. PRIMA will publish the proposals and conclusions reached by the students in Barcelona at the actual COP27 summit, which will take place in Sharm al-Sheikh (Egypt) from 6 to 18 November.
The conference “Climate Emergency in the Mediterranean” will focus on food security and agri-food in the Mediterranean, reflecting on the whole agri-food value chain, from water and fertiliser supply to transport and distribution. The participating students, divided into North delegates and South delegates, will debate first-hand and have to provide solutions on adaptation, mitigation and economic decisions affecting the region in which they live.
The aim is to give university students a voice on the climate crisis and present the possible solutions that science and knowledge can provide while working to raise awareness of the need for action to address the climate emergency.
The Secretary for Climate Action of the Catalan Government, Anna Barnadas, the rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, and the director of PRIMA, Octavi Quintana, will welcome the students to the conference, which will include a presentation by Marta Guadalupe Rivera Ferre, researcher and coordinator of the Nexus Report of the Mediterranean Network of Climate Change Experts (MedECC). Isabel Viola Demestre, professor of Civil Law at the University of Barcelona, and Juan Antonio Ruiz García, professor of Civil Law at the Pompeu Fabra University, will also take part as heads of the negotiation among the students.
The latest scientific data reveal that climate change is accelerating at a much faster rate than expected. Global greenhouse gas emissions have reached record levels, made worse by this summer’s forest fires, not to mention the energy crisis that is unfolding. Ecosystems and communities are on the edge, and one of the most affected geographical areas is the Mediterranean Arc. There is therefore a broad consensus on the need to step up intensive efforts to halve emissions by 2030. Adaptation, mitigation and financial support for climate action are the key issues to be discussed in Sharm al-Sheikh.
The “Climate Emergency in the Mediterranean” conference will be the only event of its kind to take place in the European Union. COP27 will feature, for the first time, the Mediterranean Pavilion, conceived as a space for all regional actors —public and private, scientific and academic, technical, political, civil society, finance and business— actively engaged in tackling the climate crisis. During the events that will take place on the day, PRIMA will present the conclusions reached by the university students on the previous day.