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Governments and businesses share best practices for Think Green! in Brussels

06 June 2012
Governments and businesses share best practices for Think Green! in Brussels

BRUSSELS: Ahead of the forthcomingRio+20 UN Conference on sustainable development, last week the Delegation of the Basque Country to the EU and the Basque Environmental Agency (IHOBE) hosted Think Green! Sustainable Practices Towards a Green Economy, to exchange views on best practices among existing Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects promoting the green economy.

Examples of practical strategies for achieving sustainability towards a low carbon economy were presented by stakeholders from the private sector including Iberdrola and Alstom, financial institutions such as Kutxabank and public authorities like IHOBE.

A later debate between business representatives, public representatives - UNEP, European Commission, regional governments and Climate-KIC and other organizations including The Climate Group - discussed lessons learned and ways of paving the way to a low carbon economy.

The panelists agreed on the need to show that resource efficiency is a great economic opportunity not just for big companies, but also for SMEs. It was decided that the role of PPPs is fundamental in reaching better understanding of the needs, and sharing the risks, of the transition to a green economy.

Next the spotlight fell on Climate KIC, which is aiming to develop innovative models to address societal challenges, by identifying and responding to challenges of climate change integrating the four sectors of innovation: governments and public bodies, education, research and business.

The panelists also discussed the world's continuously growing resource consumption, specifically energy and raw materials. This reinforced the urgent need to find sustainable ways of using finite resources. While European standards in eco-design have become international, in order to achieve real efficiency in energy use it was agreed that the EU must also impose these requirements on all imported products, through the European eco-label criteria. 

Panelists discussed how financial institutions can move towards a low carbon economy by correcting market failures and making green activities more attractive for consumers and the private sector. Kutxabank presented several measures that it is currently implementing. The company is greening financial policies and investments, in order to send the right signals to the market and help other companies and consumers act in a more sustainable way.

Regional and local authorities activities in the framework of Rio+20 were also mentioned. Luc Bas, Director of States and Regions Alliance, The Climate Group, stressed the key role of regional governments in achieving a Clean Revolution, as they can influence national governments to move towards a real new economy. 

More about the Clean Revolution

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