The Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) is currently preparing a set of regional measures to support the development of green and circular businesses that will be presented for adoption at the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Barcelona Convention at the end of the year. On the basis of an extensive bottom-up analysis of the Mediterranean context, a first set of 43 policy recommendations to support green and circular businesses was prepared.
Between December 2020 and January 2021, SCP/RAC launched an online stakeholder consultation to gather feedback on this set of recommendations. The feedback received was integrated into the initial set recommendations that was then turned into a set of 12 regional measures, addressing the different recommendations and taking into account the experience of the SwitchMed programme.
On 23 and 24 February, 2021, an online meeting with national experts from 17 Mediterranean countries took place. The results of the consultation were presented and the initial set of 12 regional measures was thoroughly reviewed with the countries.
What are the main results of the online consultation process?
SwitchMed is glad to announce that 60 responses from 20 Mediterranean countries and from many different sectors were received: the largest group was start-ups and SMEs, followed by public administration, civil society organisations, academia, experts, sustainable development organisations, corporate, industrial and financial institutions.
Overall, the feedback was very positive, the main result being strong support across all recommendation categories, highlighting the need for a policy mix to address the issue.
The top 3 recommendations voted as “most urgent and feasible policy measures” were:
1. Develop a national circular economy strategy (as long as it comes with other measures ensuring its implementation, such as the creation of a National commission for follow up, a set of indicators, a budget, etc.).
2. Create a supportive regulatory framework for sustainable enterprises by adopting a clear definition of “Sustainable enterprise” in legislation.
3. Tax benefits for sustainable companies.
What was the conclusion of the meeting with national experts?
After two days of discussions, the experts congratulated SCP/RAC on the quality of the work accomplished so far for the implementation of Barcelona Convention Decision IG. 24/13.
In a nutshell, the National Experts recommended highlighting the importance of system thinking, circular strategies and suggested highlighting that those businesses contribute positively to the main environmental challenges threatening the Mediterranean: biodiversity and climate change.
Likewise, the National Experts recognized that the proposed measures will not only contribute to the current environmental challenges in the Region but also produce economic benefits and social value, in particular new jobs, a priority for most of the countries.
Based on the comments made by the National Experts, SCP/RAC will review the initial proposal of Regional Measures and will share it for revision by SCP/RAC Focal Points before moving into the preparation of a COP Decision.
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