In this webinar, MEP Younous Omarjee who worked as rapporteur on the report on EU islands and cohesion policy was the main speaker. He gave insights on the cohesion policy as well as his work on EU islands.
Islands face some of the most dramatic consequences of global warming and rising sea levels, including disproportionate biodiversity loss in comparison to the mainland. Islands can not only be pioneers for renewable energy but also on the of mitigation. They can be testing grounds for sustainability practices in various sectors such as clean energy, circular economy, smart mobility, waste management and the blue economy.
Younous Omarjee identified the autonomy of food and energy as the key issue for EU islands' development. He stated that energy autonomy is needed for islands to become independent from the mainland and fossil energy. Solutions to be energy autonomous are available on islands. Wind, sun and waves are steady factors on islands that can be used for energy production. Volcanic islands even have the opportunity to use this natural force for geothermal energy production.
Islands are prone to crisis errupting on the mainland due to their remoteness, dependence on the mainland, dependence on tourism, fossil fuels, climate change, and more. By becoming energy independent, islands can eliminate several of these factors making them less vulnerable and more resilient.
Due to their location, islands often face geopolitical tensions. The sea surrounding them is a source of hope and tension. It provides food, electricity, a means for transport, attracts tourism and can even provide water through desalination. But the sea can also be a conflicted area.
Find out more and watch the recording of this webinar.
The recording of this webinar is available in English and French.