Green Week 2008 Conclusions

Brussels, 10 June 2008 – The concluding remarks of EU Green Week 2008 began with a reference to the theme of the week: there is only one earth. This reality fueled and shaped the discussions that took place during the various sessions. The overarching conclusions that environmental policies have had a positive effect on Europe, as well as the fact that business goals and competitiveness can go hand in hand with concerns over protecting the environment were presented by Mr. Mogens Peter Carl, the Director General for DG Environment. Also in attendance were Mr. Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Janez Podobnik, Slovenian Minister of the Environment, and Mr. Anders Wijkman, an MEP from Sweden.

Several other conclusions drawn from the week were notable. Current environmental policy is focused primarily on outputs, such as the production of waste and greenhouse gases; more emphasis needs to be placed on limiting inputs as well. It was also concluded that consumption patterns are a driving force behind environmental problems, and that these patterns need to be addressed and dealt with. One comment that was made on this topic was that providing reliable consumer information is essential for moving from words to real changes in behavior. With regard to climate change, it was stated that the technological solutions to combat climate change are available, but that strong political steering and even intervention is needed to promote the effective use of these technologies. Businesses were applauded, in that many are increasing energy efficiency and selling more clean technology. EU Green Week brings together many experts, businessmen, politicians, and interested citizens in an environment conducive to frank discussion and meaningful conclusions.

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