Changing finance, financing change

Finance is at the heart of our economy. It fuels businesses and creates jobs, allows us to build large and durable infrastructures and improves our individual power purchase. However, we have learned at our own expense that it can also become our worst weakness if it is not adequately supervised and regulated. Short term incentives and losses of values are the main reasons behind the recurrent bubbles that impact so badly the more fragile populations. However, finance can also be a powerful tool to promote a greener and more responsible economy. It can reward positive behaviors, empower green entrepreneurs and rationalize our limited natural resources consumption.

We can’t also ignore the instability of the Mediterranean region, specially in the southern shore, that is suffering from extremely high unemployment rates and chronic geopolitical tensions. Moreover, this situation is exacerbated due to the existing environmental challenges which are stressed by the impact of climate change and unsustainable consumption and production patterns: extreme weather, water scarcity, pollution of the rivers and the sea, irreversible loss of biodiversity…

However, another order could emerge from this chaos. There is indeed a window of opportunity to create a common sustainable path between the south and the north of the Mediterranean that values natural capital, economic development and social cohesion at the same level. The so-called green economy, or sometimes blue economy when applied to the unique Mediterranean ecosystem, would be again the main topic to be discussed during this Global Eco Forum 2014, an international meeting place for decision makers, opinion leaders and change agents, organized by the associations eco-union and Ascame, and hosted for the first time by the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders. This seventh edition will also extend the debate on the critical topics of Green finance and Natural Resources Management, at the core of our economic and social development.

Again, we want to remind – and express our gratitude – the critical role of our network of partners, volunteers and collaborators, which act as co-catalysts of the transition to sustainability throughout the whole Mediterranean region. With this growing ambition and expanded geographic focus, we hope to strengthen the eco forums as innovative and inspiring events towards a more prosperous, inclusive and fair Mediterranean society.

Jeremie Fosse
Director Global Eco Forum & President eco-union