In light of the upcoming Rio+20 summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the environmental experts of EU policy broadcaster viEUws.eu met with prominent policy makers in the field to discuss some of the most pressing environmental issues from a European Union perspective.
Below are a series of videos recording the discussions with leading energy and environment journalist Sonja van Renssen.
Video 1: Karl Falkenberg, Director General for Environment at the European Commission: “…we need to convince the world that a green economy is the only growth path forwards for everyone.”
Karl Falkenberg, Director General for Environment at the European Commission discusses Green Growth, Rio+20 – the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – and the 7th Environmental Action Programme of the European Community.
Topics discussed include amongst others the significant increase of funds for undertaking climate action and the need for bringing a wide variety of policies together in one coherent European policy. An objective that apparently extends to Rio+20 as well, given that Falkenberg advocates that the goal of the conference is to bring coherence to global policy and convince the world that a green economy is the only growth path forwards for everyone.
Video 2: Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, ALDE MEP & Rapporteur on the Commission’s Roadmap on Resource Efficiency: “A major challenge of Rio is to convince developing countries that Green Growth is not just a Western vision, but one that can provide in sustainable growth for them as well.”
ALDE MEP & Rapporteur on the Commission’s Roadmap on Resource Efficiency Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy believes that the objective of Rio+20 should be a Green World Economy. He argues points out that we currently overuse our planet and accordingly should strive to constrain production & consumption within the limits of the earth. The major challenge of Rio is to convince developing countries that Green Growth is not just a Western vision, but one that can provide in sustainable growth for them as well.
From an institutional perspective, Gerbrandy is fairly pleased with the proposals put forward by the Commission, but argues that the European Parliament is less green and that perception amongst Member States is even worse. He welcomes the 7th Environmental Action Programme, as it sees after the integration of existing policy into a coherent narrative.
Video 3: Sonja van Renssen updates on the progress made in the field of Environment under the Danish presidency so far.
Energy Efficiency, Climate and Green Growth were set to dominate the agenda during the Danish presidency but several setbacks had to be faced. In this briefing, attention goes out to strong Polish scepticism and the Commission’s persistence not to suspend its aviation emissions scheme. Finally, Van Renssen pays attention to several challenges that are equally important to the European Union’s Environmental policy as the future victories it may claim in Rio.