EU Green Week 2013 Concludes
The EU Green Week, the largest annual conference for European environmental policy, has concluded. The conference ran from June 4th to 7th in Brussels. Intended to serve as a forum where members of governments, business and industry, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media can convene to discuss pressing issues in environmental policy, the conference features various workshops and sessions aimed at promoting dialogue, as well as high-profile keynote speakers. Running jointly with the conference is an exhibition of over 40 stands displaying business initiatives, NGO activities, and other work relevant to proceedings at the conference.
For 2013, the organizing theme of the conference was “Cleaner Air for All.” Noting that many air-quality measures, especially pollutants such as particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and nitrogen dioxide, remain unacceptably high, the European Commission declared 2013 the “Year of Air.” The Commission plans to review its current air policy, and focus on improvement in this domain. Green Week activities are central to this process.
Clean air is a specific concern of urban centers, with 70% of emissions world wide generated from these areas. On Thursday, June 6th a Panel Discussion, in partnership with UNEP, convened on the topic of Sustainable Cities and the SDGs. The conversation was moderated by Center for Governance and Sustainability Co-Director Maria Ivanoava, and served to gather views on how the issue of Sustainable Cities, and how related policy work will play a role in the forthcoming universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & post-2015 development discussions, following the report of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Speakers included Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for the Environment, European Commission, Michele Candotti, Principal Adviser to the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Head of the Office for Policy and Inter-Agency Affairs (OPIA) and Martha Delgado Peralta, Former Mexico City’s Secretary of Environment, and ICLEI Vice President.
This year’s Green Week proceedings attracted some 3.100 participants from government, business and industry, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media. Annual Green Week activities are open to the public. More information about the 2013 conference can be found here.