GOOD NEWS FOR MONACO ON EU CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGIES

by Gianluca Errico with the Montecarlotimes Team MONACO. The European Union sees global partnerships and increased cooperation as essential to advancing the Union’s strategic interests and to tackle global challenges. To this end the European Union is backing up its political commitment with concrete actions to cooperate more closely with major economies to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change and environmentally-friendly practices more broadly. Italian Federica Mogherini is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the EU Commission from 2014 to 2019. She leads the project team “Europe in the World” and she represents the EU at international fora such as the United Nations. She also chairs the Commission’s Group on External Action to deliver a common approach for EU action on the world stage. The European External Action Service (EEAS) is the EU’s diplomatic service. It aims to make EU foreign policy more coherent and effective, thus increasing Europe’s global influence. Mogherini regularly reports back to the Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker and to the whole College about geopolitical developments.

Italian Federica Mogherini is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the EU Commission from 2014 to 2019
Italian Federica Mogherini is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the EU Commission from 2014 to 2019

Mogherini’s announcement on 29 November 2017 in Brussels on EU climate commitments through enhanced global partnership is good news, as Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker outlined in the State of the European Union speech: “I want Europe to be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change. Last year, we set the global rules of the game with the Paris Agreement ratified here, in this very House. Set against the collapse of ambition in the United States, Europe must ensure we make our planet great again. It is the shared heritage of all of humanity.” The strategic partnerships for the implementation of the Paris Agreement is a programme co-financed by the EU’s Partnership Instrument   (€20 million) and the German International Climate Initiative  (€5 million) to scale up European climate policy collaborations with other major economies. The International Climate Initiative (ICI) finances climate projects in developing and newly industrialised countries, as well as countries in transition economies. The ICI focuses on promoting a climate-friendly economy, measures for climate change adaptation and for the preservation or sustainable use of carbon reservoirs/ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).

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The PI is one of the funding instruments that enable the EU to take part in shaping global change and promote its core values. It is one of several instruments included in the EU’s budget for 2014-2020 as a means of financing the Union’s external action. The PI’s budget for 2014-2020 amounts to EUR 954.8 million. Climate change requires a decisive and confident response from all major economies, as they represent a large share of global population, economic output and greenhouse gas emissions. The Partnership Instrument (PI) strategic outlook for 2020 has innovative features, including global reach and the vocation to address global challenges such as climate change and energy security and to support the external dimension of EU policies. It will be able to address specific aspects of the EU’s economic diplomacy, trade and investment opportunities and to support public diplomacy and outreach activities. The PI’s global reach and flexibility are designed, in complementarity with other instruments, to help the Union to respond to the fast-changing nature of partner countries and to global challenges. Over the next three years, the relative shift of the world’s economic power away from the North Atlantic is likely to continue. The EU will remain one of the principal global political and economic players, but in a “multi-polar” world. The EU will therefore need to think even more than today in terms of forging bilateral and multilateral partnerships to advance its strategic interests. The PI has been designed to support the EU’s efforts to create and maintain such partnerships. The PI will come into play first and foremost for the EU’s strategic partners, and will thus be deployed mainly in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and with Russia, Central Asia and the Gulf. The PI will be programmed in line with the headline objectives set out in the Regulation, namely: (i) Supporting the Union’s bilateral, regional and inter-regional co-operation partnership strategies by developing collective approaches and responses to challenges of global concern; (ii) implementing the international dimension of the “Europe 2020” strategy; (iii) improving market access and developing trade, investment and business opportunities for European companies (including SMEs) by means of economic partnerships, and; (iv) enhancing widespread understanding and visibility of the Union and its role on the world scene, notably via public diplomacy and higher education co-operation. There will be a small reserve of un-programmed funds to allow the EU to respond promptly and effectively to new or unforeseen developments. Today’s proposals establish ambitious, realistic and enforceable rules to help secure a level playing field between actors in the industry operating in Europe. The package will also stimulate both innovation in new technologies and business models, and a more efficient use of all modes for the transport of goods.

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Well, beyond words and intentions, this is actually good news: the world needs viable solutions, and it happens that Monaco is at the forefront about innovation in new technologies and business models. One of the smallest country in the world conceived for ten years now the unrivalled CleanEquity® Monaco Conference, the world’s leading invitation-only emerging cleantech conference that take place every March since the first edition in 2007. Prince Albert lends much more than just his name to CleanEquity® Monaco. He co-founded the invitation-only conference with Mungo Park, Chairman of Innovator Capital. Engineers and inventors need to devote as much of their time as possible to finding innovative and viable solutions. CleanEquity® Monaco was designed to address this, to bring people together, over two days, a conference that could enable the scientists, engineers and inventors to accelerate what they are doing. Innovator Capital usually looks at over 600 innovations a year, which will be reduce to a manageable 25 to 35 as they are screened. Key criteria test if the technology is viable economically, if board and management can run the company and develop the new technology. Of course this must be world relevant. If the new technology works and is sustainable, then investors will be more likely to pursue the opportunity. For example, a solar technology company that only works in Monaco is not viable but if it works anywhere in the Northern or Southern hemisphere, even on the poles in their summers, then it is viable. Selection is by merit and while most of the technologies come from the US and the UK, CleanEquity has had representatives from 36 different countries. A variety of investors and potential partners come to Monaco seeking to provide a company with anything it could possibly need within the following 24 months. This means that the company can get on with its work, knowing that management don’t have to go out and look for investment again for two years. So that is the strategy, to help accelerate towards commercialisation. His Serene Highness also rewards green thinkers annually at CleanEquity® Monaco. During the closing ceremony, the Prince, who in 2012 adapted the Smart City project connecting technology to public services, hands out the awards for Excellence in the fields of Environmental Research, Technology Development and Technology Commercialisation.

Mungo Park, Chairman of Innovator Capital (Left) with H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco at the annual CleanEquity® Monaco closing ceremony
Mungo Park, Chairman of Innovator Capital (Left) with H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco at the annual CleanEquity® Monaco closing ceremony

The unrivalled success of CleanEquity® Monaco is illustrated not only by the scope and volume of its participants: over the years – over 1,800 people from corporate, professional and strategic family investors, entrepreneurs, academics, policy makers, diplomats and end users, but also by the consequences: $1.7 billion (€1.41 billion) raised, so soon after the event, by attending companies, such as Primus Power, a flow battery for large scale energy storage ($32 million/€26.6 million) and Benson Hill Biosystems plant biology ($25 million/€20.7 million). Also associated with CleanEquity® Monaco, is the Nobel Sustainability Trust®, which founded the Nobel Sustainability Fund. The fund was seeded by Monaco’s Constitutional Reserve Fund and was announced on 22nd September, 2016. Next CleanEquity® Monaco takes place March 8th-9th, 2018. World class investor groups will attend the conference. The Companies racing for the 2017 Excellence in the Field of Environmental Research are clearly very carefully selected and all of high quality. Part of the experience of being here is to be able to meet with European and Asian investors and to hear from the other companies and, unlike other conferences, not to be inundated with service providers.

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