Challenges and Opportunities for Europe in building a Global Green Economy

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27/04/2012 - 00:00
29/04/2012 - 23:59
Etc/GMT
Green Europe

Two months before the Rio +20 United Nations conference on sustainable development, this three-day graduate workshop investigated how the concepts around a green economy can become powerful leverages for sustainable development and poverty eradication at both the European and global scales. Participants met in the run-up to Rio, which takes place 20 years after the first UN Conference on Environment and Development, to review achievements and key challenges ahead in terms of sustainable development, and to define the roles Europe should play to foster a global green economy, focusing on its political economy, geography and diplomacy. Click here to download the event poster

The modest advances on cutting carbon emissions reached in Durban at the end of 2011 are widely held to have only been possible thanks to the vigorous efforts of the EU contingent. On environmental matters, at least, Europe seems to be a key player. But can Europe itself demonstrate that it is economically possible, let alone beneficial, to be ‘green’? And can it lead the way towards a genuinely sustainable economy?

Questions at the table included: What are the new economic and social benefits of a green economy? Can Europe - and surrounding regions - afford a green economy if no binding UN agreements are reached on carbon emissions, labor rights or environmental protection? What economic and development sacrifices can, and will, Europe make in the quest for such agreements? What role shall be played by the E.U. in making this happen? How should Europe work with powerful countries such as the US, and China, and Russia? Are sanctions possible - and ethically acceptable - to ensure binding and meaningful agreements?


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