15 Oct 2020 09h00Brussels
The recent COVID-19 crisis has dominated headlines and forced policymakers to prioritise conquering this issue. However, environmental protection and cleaner cities have become one of the most salient issues across Europe in recent years. From local recycling initiatives to climate strikes, a greener Europe is at the forefront of the political discourse. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 report by the European Environmental Agency, little progress has been made to combat airborne pollution. In fact, levels of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), which can lodge itself deep into a person's lungs and bloodstream, have stagnated.
The role of cities and regions in tackling air pollution is fundamental. Local authorities enforce bans on burning solid fuels, are tasked with reducing emissions in construction, and provide incentives for regional-based green energy investments.
This workshop will begin with an introduction on the history of air pollution in Europe and then shift to the current state of affairs. It will be open and honest about the scope of the problem and what pragmatic options exist to address it. Certain contemporary policy measures to provide real European solutions, including through EU financing, will be examined and interrogated.
Our guest speakers will exchange views about the current situation in their regions and what options are currently being explored to combat air pollution. They will evaluate the environmental impact of various measures, but also their financial cost for local and regional authorities, taxpayers and businesses. Our panellists will also discuss what measures had to be delayed considering the COVID-19 pandemic and how Europe can move forward from this crisis in both a green and economically responsible manner.
Opening speech and moderation
- Władysław Ortyl, President of the ECR Group in the European Committee of the Regions and President of the Podkarpackie region
- Roberto Ciambetti, President of the Veneto Regional Council (Italy) and President of the Italian delegation in the CoR
- Jakub Chełstowski, President of the Silesia region (Poland) and ECR ENVI Commission Coordinator in the CoR
- Tjisse Stelpstra, Regional Minister in Drenthe province (the Netherlands) and ECR representative in the CoR Working Group on the Green Deal
- Grzegorz Tobiszowski MEP, member of the ECR Group and of the ITRE Committee
- Lucie Žáčková, Deputy Head of Unit, DG REGIO, European Commission
Jacques Delors building, Rue Belliard 101, Brussels / videostreaming