How to Implement and Finance Cities’ Efforts for Energy Transitions in the Middle East and North Africa? (Webinar) - 24.01.2019


This webinar will discuss the specific and general challenges for cities looking to tackle the current issue set of energy transitions across the region, with a particular focus on solution-sourcing for implementation strategies and financing procurement. Concrete examples on creative solutions will be provided from both the Lebanese and Jordanian contexts, and participants will have the opportunity to discuss and delve into the possibility of adapting these strategies for their own local needs, and mindful of their own contexts.

Olgu Okumus will give a general presentation on current conditions for energy transition efforts across the UfM working region, with a specific context on common challenges and themes facing municipalities. She will give an overview of how the rest of the webinar will run, will highlight specific skillsets of the webinar’s other presenters for the benefit of joining parties, and discuss the moderation of questions (set for the end of the discussion), follow-up inquiries, and related matters.

Christina Abi Haidar will provide an explanation of the current frame of PPP regulations in Lebanon, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and evolutions within the current statutes. She will then provide examples, tips, and strategies for how cities in Lebanon are able to use the PPP framework to help further their own localized strategies of energy transition and climate change action in order to draw upon private sector efficiencies as part of their own municipal action plans. She will then answer questions, helping participants tailor her own experiences for their own particular contexts, and in light of their own local PPP regulatory situations.

Meqdad Meqdad will describe the creative models developed by the Greater Amman Municipality to incentivize and motivate groups to focus activities on the construction and renovation of buildings to be energy efficient and in line with larger climate action plans. He will then highlight general best practices that can be drawn out of the Greater Amman Municipality’s experience which may be of use to other participants in the webinar, based upon their particular problem sets and needs. He will then answer questions, helping participants tailor his described solutions for their own particular contexts.


Short Bio:
Valeria Zambianchi is a research assistant at the Copenhagen Centre since September 2017. Previously, she worked as student assistant at UNEP DTU Partnership. Valeria researches the best practices of energy efficiency in cities and the role of cities in South America for implementing energy efficient actions. Moreover, she assists the senior staff with projects in Latin America, as well as coordinates and moderates the Copenhagen Centre’s webinars in Spanish. Valeria graduated from København Universitet with a MSc. in global development and concentration in environmental governance. Her field experience includes participatory forest management in Tanzania and urban flooding in India.
Head of Sector - Energy and Climate Actions Division
Short Bio:
Dr. Olgu Okumus is Head of Sector – Energy and Climate Action Division within the Secretariat of the Union of Mediterranean, a position where she oversaw efforts across a wide range of energy and climate policy effort lines throughout the Mediterranean region. She holds a PhD in the Sociology of Public Administration from Sciences Po, Paris, where her dissertation focused on the “Financial, Economic and Political Aspects of International Energy Negotiations of Turkey.” She has also run projects in Turkey, Belgium, France, and Nigeria. Dr. Okumus has been an adjunct professor at Sciences Po, Paris, and her analyses have appeared in a wide variety of outlets, including Al-Monitor, Oil Price, and Al Jazeera. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Turkish.
Short Bio:
Christina Abi Haidar is a practicing Attorney (member of the Beirut Bar Association), consultant to several companies, and Senior Legal Advisor for several EU, UNDP and USAID projects. She is Partner for Legal and PPP Design at the Partnership for Progress Platform. Mrs. Abi Haidar holds a Bachelor of Law Degree with Distinction from the Lebanese University, an MA in International Law from NDU, and Certification in Petroleum Law and Petroleum Contracts from the École Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) and a PHD in privatization. With more than a decade of broad experience in the legal field, she is specialized in the legal, regulatory, and environmental aspects of energy policy, contracts, and legislation and regulatory frame works in Lebanon and in the MENA region. She has an in-depth knowledge and a wide experience with Lebanese municipal and administrative laws and regulations with concentrated specialization in PPP.
Short Bio:
Project Manager at UNDP- for A project that is directly related to implementing Energy efficiency for existing and new buildings for Amman city, and he was a former manager for Sustainability & Renewable Energy Center at Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) who is also the Municipal representative locally, & internationally in and around all renewable energy & sustainability fields. Eng. Rababaa was one of the pioneers to address energy efficiency , water and green houses emissions challenges faced by the city of Amman; since 2008 he has been developing & implementing GAM's strategy for Sustainability, and led the city to be the first city in south west Asia to join C40 group.