Interreg NEXT MED went global at COP28

With 16 Mediterranean and global commitments, some of which at Ministerial level, Interreg NEXT MED actively participated in COP28 in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 to December 12, 2023. This involvement aligns with its goal to become a key player in Mediterranean climate action.

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Interreg NEXT MED at COP28 - Italian Pavillion
Interreg NEXT MED at COP28

With 16 Mediterranean and global commitments, some of which at Ministerial level, Interreg NEXT MED actively participated in COP28 in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 to December 12, 2023. This involvement aligns with its goal to become a key player in Mediterranean climate action.

At COP28, the Interreg NEXT MED Programme built upon its breakthrough participation at COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, where it recognized a broader global interest beyond the Mediterranean. Under the theme “Together for a Change,” the Programme strategically aimed to achieve three primary objectives:

  1. Strengthening its Role as a Strategic Mediterranean Partner: Interreg NEXT MED aimed to reaffirm and bolster its position as a key partner for Mediterranean climate action. This was achieved through active participation in the COP28 Mediterranean Coalition, coordinated by the Union for the Mediterranean, highlighting its role in regional climate initiatives.
  2. Showcasing Project Successes with Wider Applications: The Programme focused on disseminating exceptional outcomes from ENI CBC MED projects, especially those relevant to climate change. A key aspect of this was to showcase results that have the potential for global replication, thereby extending the impact of their Mediterranean-focused projects to a wider audience.
  3. Expanding Global Impact: Interreg NEXT MED operated under the firm belief that the Mediterranean region’s strength is enhanced through global connections, and vice versa. Thus, the Programme sought to maximize its global influence, emphasizing the interconnectivity and mutual benefits of Mediterranean and global climate action partnerships.

2 meetings with Ministers from NEXT MED participating countries
The Interreg NEXT MED Programme, in its endeavor to secure high-level national support, successfully conducted meetings with key ministers from participating countries. The Programme was pleased to engage with H.E. Ms. Leila Chikhaoui, the Tunisian Minister of Environment, and H.E. Mr. Walid Fayyad, the Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water. Both ministers expressed strong interest in the Programme, particularly in anticipation of the forthcoming Interreg NEXT MED first call for proposals, wirth over €103 million.


5 events at the Mediterranean Coalition Office
NEXT MED has reaffirmed its standing as an important member of the Mediterranean family and was extremely happy to share the COP28 Mediterranean Coalition office with its partners. In this remarkable office, set by the Union for the Mediterranean, NEXT MED implemented three events dedicated to regional challenges where the Programme proved particularly effective as the circular economy applied to the construction sector, the creation of eco-businesses by the youth and the fight against marine litter. In addition, NEXT MED participated in two events run by fellow Mediterranean partners.

9 events in Mediterranean and global pavilions
Marking a turning point in the go-global strategy of the Programme, COP28 saw NEXT MED participate and deliver compelling speeches outside the Mediterranean Office for the first time. It was the opportunity for the Programme to feature some of the most remarkable and replicable results of its funded projects in fields where the Mediterranean leads the way like energy efficiency, circular economy, adaptation to climate change, the fight against marine litter or the role played by SMEs and the youth in climate action.

  • Pavilion of the Francophonie: SMEs, essential partners for a just transition towards a circular economy with low energy consumption
  • Pavilion of France: Building a climate-friendly and resilient future for a sustainable construction in the Mediterranean region and West Africa – Mobilizing local construction value chain for decarbonization of buildings
  • Pavilion of Tunisia: Tunisia plays a key role in the Mediterranean ecological transition
  • Pavilion of Tunisia: New opportunities to finance the ecological transition in Tunisia through the Interreg NEXT MED Program
  • Pavilion of Egypt: Strengthening community resilience: civil society’s role in mainstreaming climate actions in rural and urban settlements
  • Pavilion of the Arab League States: adaptation to climate change and measures to mitigate its effects
  • Pavilion of the Sustainable Development Goals: wow SMEs can transform the economy for people, planet and prosperity
  • Pavilion of Italy: Fit for 55? Innovative solutions for energy efficient buildings
  • Pavilion of the European Union: Advancing skills and capacities to boost energy efficiency in the Mediterranean

Along with these events, during the 13 days of COP28, the Programme representatives on-site in Dubai took every occasion to advocate for a smarter, greener and more inclusive Mediterranean either in formal or informal meetings and talks. Worth of mention are bilateral meetings with fellow Mediterranean Coalition partners EMEA and the Mediterranean Climate House.

Looking ahead
The Interreg NEXT MED Programme, with a firm belief in the Mediterranean’s pivotal role in addressing global challenges, positions itself as the premier platform for confronting and solving these issues. This commitment is rooted in a unique approach of real cooperation, a signature element of the NEXT MED brand. The Programme aims to extend its global influence, ensuring the Mediterranean is not just a participant, but a connected leader in global discussions.

The anticipation for the projects under the Interreg NEXT MED’s first call for proposals is high. These projects are expected, as early as 2024, to contribute innovative solutions to Mediterranean climate challenges. The commitment is clear: wherever the Mediterranean leads in climate action, the Interreg NEXT MED Programme will be at the forefront, sharing these advancements with the world.

The message for the upcoming COP29, to be held next year in Azerbaijan, is resounding: “Together for a Change!” This slogan encapsulates the essence of the Programme’s mission — fostering unity and collective action for impactful change. This approach underlines a future where Mediterranean-led initiatives are recognized and valued on a global scale, propelled by the collaborative spirit of  Interreg NEXT MED Programme.

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