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Environment takes centre stage in Brussels during June

The month of June witnessed a series of environment-related events taking place in the vibrant city of Brussels.

The month started with ‘Green Week,’ the largest annual gathering for the environment community in Europe, showcasing the theme of Nature and Biodiversity from 3 to 5 June. Simultaneously, the ‘European Development Days (EDDs)’ taking place on 3 and 4 June saw more than 6000 people take part in the 2015 European Year for Development’s flagship event.

Throughout both major events, the UNEP Liaison Office to the EU and several other United Nations Agencies based in Brussels promoted their projects through a multitude of sessions on sustainable growth and green initiatives for a better future.

Project lab sessions headed by UNEP

UNEP was actively engaged at EDDs, with Executive Director Achim Steiner taking part in a High Level Panel from the European Parliament on how development cooperation can effectively fight corruption and promote good governance. Other than the two information stands in the Project village, UNEP also headed four Project Lab sessions on ‘Multi-stakeholder partnerships for energy efficiency’, ‘Financing the SWITCH to Greens SMEs across Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean’ ,‘The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEBAF)’ and ‘Fiscal Policies for an Inclusive Green Economy: Lessons Learnt from Africa’.

During the latter session, Joy Kim - Senior Economic Affairs Officer at UNEP – first framed the issue of green fiscal policy reforms in the broad context of financing for sustainable development. Green fiscal policy reforms in Africa were then explored based on two UNEP-commissioned country studies on Mauritius and Ghana. Such countries are using fiscal reforms to raise revenues, expand fiscal space and attract investment to accelerate the shift to a green development path. According to UNEP Green Economy Assessments, the financing needs for a green economy in Kenya for instance amount to USD 1.4 billion per year, or 9% of public expenditure.

UNEP furthermore led the way at Green Week with keynote speakers in two sessions and a UN information stand backed by the UN agencies FAO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNIDO and UNRIC.

Steering developers towards green energy

Finally, UNEP participated in European Sustainable Energy Week, a week-long conference from 15-19 June on Europe's sustainable energy future coordinated by the European Commission. Besides a popular panel discussion jointly organised by Euroheat & Power and UNEP on District Energy in Cities on 18 June, the UNEP Liaison Office to the EU presented the organisation’s work at an information stand aimed at steering project developers towards greater engagement in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.

For more information on UNEP’s work from Brussels:

For more information about UNEP’s fiscal policy work stream click here

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