A question during the conference theme was “How can Europe balance the needs of nature and people and maintain a healthy environment, while fostering sustainable economic growth and eradicate social inequalities?”
To address the theme, the Club of Rome EU-Chapter co-organized a public session at the European Parliament on 19 February, together with the Parliamentary Intergroup on Sustainable Development of the European Parliament. Themed with “Achieving SDGs within Europe: no poverty eradication without environmental action”, the session looked into the interface of environmental and social issues. It did so by including testimonies, concrete examples of bad practices versus best practices and lessons learned.
Victor van Vuuren, Director of Enterprises Department of the ILO, was invited to speak on behalf of the ILO on the panel. In his address he stressed three key messages:
- Addressing environmental sustainably and social deficits must go hand-in-hand.
- Working on the basis of the right narrative.
- The involvement of governments and social partners is indispensable.
At ILO, a guiding framework has been developed, which includes practical tools for countries in order to work for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all.
The discussion panel was chaired by MEP Isabelle Thomas. Other four high level speakers participated in the panel:
Isabel Kempf, Co-Director of UNEP-UNDP Poverty and Environment Programme;
Céline Charveriat, Executive Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy;
Philippe Pochet, General Director of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI);
Astrid Schomacker, Director of Global Sustainable Development, DG ENV, European Commission.
All meeting documents can be found here.