Monday, May 30, 2016 — EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said:
“Green Week offers a unique opportunity to bring together individuals and organisations that can help shape Europe’s sustainable development. Green investment is the main topic this year. Moving to a circular and low carbon economy needs sound financing. Europe is well placed to lead this transition. Our funds, like EFSI and the LIFE and Horizon 2020, are driving this investment towards sustainable growth.”
Throughout the week, online debates, twitter chats and events will be held around Europe to showcase how investments can create a greener future in Europe. Each day will feature a different aspect of the theme with a wide variety of stakeholder organisations and partners taking part. The programme with some key highlights are as follows:
Monday, 30 May – Investing for greener cities
EU Green Week will open in Ljubljana (Slovenia), this year's European Green Capital. Events throughout the day will focus on how financing greener cities can improve the quality of urban life. EU Member States will ratify the Pact of Amsterdam and establish the EU Urban Agenda which will unite governments, municipalities and stakeholders in driving urban sustainability forward.
Tuesday, 31 May – Investing in our countryside
Discussions will explore ways of securing our future through investments in the countryside. Commissioner Vella will open an international conference on sustainable food and biowaste management by ACR+. A morning Twitter chat (#askEASME) will answer all questions about EU funding for the environment. An online debate organised by GLOBE EU in the European Parliament will further discuss sustainable food, while the Belgian Biodiversity Platform and IUCN will host an event showcasing the multiple benefits of nature-based solutions. The best LIFE-Nature projects will also be announced for two categories: Nature & Biodiversity and Environment & Information.
Wednesday, 1 June – Investments that make it happen
Green investment has positive impacts on job creation. Circular economy systems and companies need adapted financing as they often pay returns on investments in different ways. Leveraging private finance into greener solutions can overcome market failures and provide important social benefits. European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner Vella will speak in Brussels (Belgium) about how the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can mobilise finance for green projects and how we can harness the financial system towards sustainable projects. Also, a group of CEOs from the retail sector will commit to investing in the circular economy.
Thursday, 2 June – Investing in our oceans
The potential of the blue economy, which represents 4 % of EU GDP and over five million jobs, will be explored during this day. Commissioner Vella will speak about natural capital at the European Business Summit. In the afternoon a webinar on how to access funding to invest in sustainable blue projects will show how project promoters can combine different sources.
Friday, 3 June – Investing for future generations
Green Week 2016 will conclude with an event in Vienna (Austria) entitled ‘Sustainable Development Goals for a Green Future: Investing for Future Generations’. Discussion topics will include the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. Speakers will include EU Commissioner Vella, Andrä Rupprechter, Austrian Minister of the Environment, and Jan Dusik, Director of UNEP´s Regional Office for Europe. In the morning a Twitter chat on green skills will take place.
Commissioner Vella opens Green Week 2016 in Ljubljana