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Green Week: Europe's Largest Environmental Policy Conference Begins
24/ 05/ 2011

Green Week: Europe's Largest Environmental Policy Conference Begins
Green Week - the largest annual environmental policy conference in Europe attracting around 4,000 participants, is taking place in Brussels this week. In its 11th year, this year's meeting will focus on the theme of "Resource Efficiency: Using less, living better" and there will be over 40 sessions, addressing the problem of resource depletion and scarcity, and the challenges and opportunities presented by constraints on resources.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has partnered with the European Commission to organize a number of sessions at Green Week. These sessions include a discussion on the agenda for economic transformation with the International Resource Panel, a press briefing on the International Resource Panel's upcoming metals recycling report, and a session on whether Rio+20 can deliver on global efficiency. Partnering at this important European event echoes the recent joint statement released by the European Commission and UNEP earlier this year.

UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, will be at the Conference and will meet with senior EU officials to discuss UNEP's recent groundbreaking Green Economy Report, a range of environmental issues from metals recycling to climate change, as well as the EU and UNEP's preparation for next year's UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.

Among those he will meet are European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Committee of the Regions President Mercedes Bresso, European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, Chair of the European Parliament's Environment Committee Jo Leinen, Secretary-General of the Committee of the Regions, and Secretary-General of the EEAS Pierre Vimont.

Mr. Steiner will also have the opportunity to meet European leaders, including Spain's Minister for the Environment and UNEP Governing Council President Rosa Aguilar Rivero, and Belgium's Minister for Development Cooperation Olivier Chastel.

On the final evening, UNEP has organized the key Green Economy actors from Europe, China & Brazil to discuss UNEP's latest report in a special panel session to be moderated by the Guardian's Environment Editor, John Vidal. Over 400 people from EU institutions, NGOs, business & industry and the public are expected to attend this session, which will mark the final evening of Green Week.

The European Parliament are also hosting Mr. Steiner in a public hearing of the Environment Committee to discuss Rio+20, giving the chance to him to engage with Members of the European Parliament.

Notes to Editors
Green Week is streamed live online so you can join in from wherever you are in the world through the European Commission webstream. The discussion of Rio+20 at the European Parliament will also be webstreamed.

The European Commission-UNEP joint statement is available online at

For more information, please contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media, on Tel: +254 (0)733632755 or when travelling +41 79 596 5737, E-mail:

James MORRIS, Brussels Liaison Office to the EU/UNEP, Tel +32 2 213 30 59, Cell +32 485 64 19 66, Email:

Further Resources
International Resource Panel
Green Economy Report
Decoupling: natural resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth