In the run-up to COP21 later this year, the European Commission is holding its first ever European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) - a European-wide initiative to support the low carbon econonmy and stimulate the sustainable jobs markets.
Activities will incorporate 3951 initiatives in 29 countries and include; networking groups, community projects, debates, events, sustainable food campaigns and much more to encourage sustainable development across Europe.
ESDW runs from 30 May – 5 June 2015 and you can view all the country initiatives by clicking through to this map
Andrä Rupprechter, Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management comments; ‘For several years, the French, German and Austrian national Sustainable Development Weeks have been raising awareness, participation and multi-stakeholder engagement for sustainable solutions at a local level.
I am very pleased that these efforts, building on the mechanisms of the European Sustainable Development Network, will now expand all over Europe.
The European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) ensures that European citizens can take an active part in shaping the concept of sustainability in a bottom up approach. I am delighted that so many projects can be regarded as Best-Practice models and contribute to our common, sustainable future.’
Echoing this sentiment, Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission added; ‘As the First Vice-President responsible for sustainable development, I would like to express the Commission's full support for this first European Sustainable Development Week.
The Commission's key policies to boost growth, jobs and investment can only be successful when we take a sustainable approach to tackling our economic, social and environmental challenges.
We must develop policies in an integrated way, taking into account also the global dimension. Increasing the competitiveness and resilience of European economies means turning away from our dependence on finite resources and moving towards renewable energies and reparable or recyclable products.
Our investment policies must support a further modernisation of European society by accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy and a more sustainable consumption of natural resources in a circular economy.
This will be good for our health and our wealth. Let this sustainable development week be the first of many in which we all work together in Europe to turn our ambitious agenda into reality.’
The ESDW builds upon existing national sustainable development weeks and acts as an umbrella for new European wide projects. Public authorities, individual citizens, businesses, educational institutions, museums, foundations, civil society organisations,have registered their projects, and all the activities and events can be viewed on the ESDW website