EU Green Week 2021 takes place from 31 May to 4 June. Now in its twenty-first year, the event is Europe’s biggest annual conference focusing on environmental policy. It brings together participants from government, industry, non-governmental organisations, academia and the media to exchange ideas and best practices.
It all kicked off today with an opening event in Lahti, Finland, the current European Green Capital, which focused on Citizen Science for Zero Pollution and was hosted by the European Commission.
The main event is made up of an online virtual conference spread over more than 40 sessions which are organized into four areas: Health; Biodiversity & Ecosystems; Production & Consumption; Enabling change in the EU and abroad. You can find a full list of all the sessions in the online programme and register to be a part of EU Green Week here.
Running alongside the virtual conference, there is a virtual exhibition hall that attendees can take a look around and take the opportunity to talk to and interact with different organisations. Additionally, there is a Young Artists Gallery, and there are many local partner events happening all over Europe.
If you don't have the time, or the inclination to take part, then you can also find great daily roundups of all the day's happening at the conference on the Green Week website.
This years Green Week follows the theme of ‘zero pollution for healthier people and planet’, coupling the European Green Deal with the recent adoption of the EU Action Plan 'Towards a Zero Pollution Ambition for Air, Water and Soil'. Numerous high-level panels will also explore related policy initiatives included in the EU Green Deal that are essential for EU’s Zero Pollution ambition such as the climate initiatives, the EU Chemicals Strategy, as well as EU initiatives in the fields of energy, industry, mobility, agriculture, fisheries, health and biodiversity.
“Environmental pollution negatively affects our health, especially of the most vulnerable and socially deprived groups, and is also one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. We see that pollution is an issue that Europeans care very deeply about, as an unprecedented number of partner events are taking place across Europe this year. I am convinced that this year’s Green Week will be an inspiring and mobilising success and it will show the EU’s ambition to lead global action against pollution.”Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
The sad reality is that pollution, of air, water, and soil, is widespread, both in Europe and worldwide, and it poses a direct threat to human health, but also to the health of our planet, as it destroys biodiversity and ecosystems. Addressing this pollution is a both a huge challenge and a huge environmental priority. It's also a priority for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the UNEP is one of the organisations taking part in Green Week and contributing expert opinions to the discussions.
We will be checking in and reporting back during the week on the most interesting and exciting discussions and actions. Let's see what the European Commission, UNEP, and the many experts and partner organisations can come up with in the fight against pollution.