The European Union’s Green Week, Europe’s biggest annual environmental event, took place last week (19 October – 22 October) featuring events examining how EU policies such as the European Green Deal can allow nature to recover and thrive through preservation and restoration. During the week, stakeholders from all over Europe engaged in both virtual and physical events including an opening event in Lisbon, a high-level virtual conference in Brussels and over 200 partner events across Europe.
The EU Green Deal’s objective is to transform Europe into the world’s first climate-neutral continent. The Deal is an action plan to achieve EU carbon neutrality by 2050 through calling for action in all parts of the EU economy including decarbonising the energy sector, supporting industry to innovate, investment in environmentally-friendly technology, making transport cleaner, cheaper and healthier as well as ensuring buildings are more energy efficient. Long-term strategies have been requested from EU member states, to be submitted every 10 years, to demonstrate how they plan to reduce emissions to reach the 2050 target.
At the beginning of 2020, the Commission revealed that it is aiming to provide at least €1 trillion of investment over the next 10 years.
Roundup of EU Green Week 2020
Throughout the week, sessions underlined the necessity of reversing biodiversity and nature loss by making these central to plans for the EU’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts consistently emphasised that safeguarding nature can stimulate the EU’s post-pandemic recovery through job creation and sustainable growth.
Commission President von der Leyen closed out Green Week 2020 with a video message calling on people to join forces to fight biodiversity loss and make Europe a global leader on this front. Von der Leyen noted that she proposed the European Green Deal after just 11 days in office and confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic will not stop the EU’s course. The Commission President concluded her speech by highlighting the EU’s ambition to lead the way at the COP 15 Biodiversity Summit 2021 in Kunming, China by agreeing a new Global Biodiversity Framework.
Following the finale of EU Green Week, the Council adopted conclusions on the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
EU Green week 2021 will take place between 31 May and 4 June 2021 with the theme of zero pollution focusing on European Green Deal initiatives such as agriculture, biodiversity, climate, chemicals, energy, fisheries, health, industry and mobility.