Within the EU Green Week, EU4Environment organised an online webinar “Towards Zero Pollution in the Eastern Partnership Countries” on 27 May 2021.
The European Green Week creates a unique opportunity to engage stakeholders and citizens into common action. This year it is dedicated to the ‘zero pollution ambition’, which is at the core of the EU Green Deal, the new growth strategy of the European Union, aiming to make the EU economy resource-efficient and sustainable.
The EU4Environment event aimed to show how the Programme contributed to the EU ambition for a zero pollution and clean environment by:
- reviewing progress in addressing environmental challenges in the EaP countries;
- demonstrating the success stories and best practices to decrease pollution;
- discussing the ways how to address remaining challenges, including those stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event gathered the representatives of the Ministries of Environment and of Economies, and other line Ministries, as relevant, in the Eastern Partnership countries, representatives of the civil society, academic community and business. The representatives of the European Commission, EU Delegations, and the EU4Environment Implementing Partners (OECD, UNECE, UNEP, UNIDO and World Bank) also joined the meeting.
Despite the changing economic structures, energy- and material-inefficient manufacturing and natural resource extraction – have continued to dominate the six economies of the Eastern Partneship (EaP) – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – and generate a range of significant environmental impacts. From a green growth perspective, the main challenge for the EaP countries is to reduce environmental pollution and transform natural wealth into other forms of capital and to boost the productivity and competitiveness of economies, and to invest in education and infrastructure without compromising environmental objectives.
In the context of expected accelerated economic growth environmental action and economy greening can, and should, be promoted to increase societies’ wealth. Greening the economy creates opportunities, e.g. through resource and energy efficiency, waste minimisation and recycling, cleaner production and transport and more environmentally friendly agriculture. Promoting new sectors and business models can result in economic diversification, increased competitiveness and access to new markets. Less pollution and preserved ecosystem services are important factors of population’s well being resilience, especially at community level, as well as peace and security in the region.
Item 3. Regional dimension – progress towards toxic-free societies
Items 4 & 5. EU4Environment contribution towards reducing pollution in the EaP region