When the Mediterranean considers the future of energy in the region, natural gas appears as the right tool to boost the ongoing transition

On 12 December 2022, the UfM (Union for the Mediterranean) Gas Platform Conference took place at the Hotel Hilton Opéra in Paris. Organized by the OME, with the support of the European Commission, the event was devoted to ”The Future of Energy in the Mediterranean Region”.

Recent geopolitical events, including the Ukrainian conflict, have put the entire energy sector into a once-in-a-generation crisis situation. As new vulnerabilities have been highlighted, the security of energy supply and affordabilities emerge as the priorities of the moment. 2022 has indeed put the entire energy sector into “rough waters”, but, as several participants to the OME conference pointed out, these are also promising times for increasing cooperation in the Mediterranean region.

For the Mediterranean, it is an opportunity to build a better future for the entire region. The development of renewable energies is indeed regarded as essential. But every form of energy can contribute. Natural gas, in particular, the less polluting among hydrocarbons, also thanks to the recent regional discoveries, has already been fundamental to smooth longstanding geopolitical conflicts and needs to be produced with the lowest levels of emissions. It will help Europe to diversify its sources and reduce pollution, allow developing countries to achieve a just transition, while hydrogen, biofuels and low-carbon gases, in compliance with the EU “Green Deal”, will ultimately take over.