European Union External Action

EU and Australia: Investing for a greener future

30/05/2016 - 00:00

The NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, will join four European ambassadors in Sydney tomorrow for the start of EU Green Week to highlight the role investment can play in a brighter and greener future. Minister Ayres, the ambassadors from the European Union, France, Finland and Denmark, as well as Sustainable Business Australia, will participate in a public panel event in the CBD titled, "Investing for a greener future".

The public panel will focus on investment that boosts growth and jobs around the world, including Australia.

The EU Ambassador to Australia, Sem Fabrizi, said the EU's ambitious aim was to reduce emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

"The EU exemplifies the fact that growth does not have to come with emissions," Ambassador Fabrizi said. "The EU, for example, has already cut emissions by 24 per cent compared to 1990 levels, while its GDP has grown by 46 per cent."

The French Ambassador, Christophe Lecourtier, said fighting climate change was a priority for France and an economic opportunity.

"COP21 sent the strong signal that transition towards a carbon-neutral future was accelerating and irreversible," Ambassador Lecourtier said. "Today, more than ever, the dynamics of reducing emissions, and of enhancing competition and jobs, are clearly converging."
The Finnish Ambassador, Pasi Patokallio, said his country's expertise in innovation collaboration was helping transition towards a more sustainable economy.

"Finland is a global leader in innovation-focused collaboration between government, business and academia," he said. "Such collaboration, we believe, is essential to coming up with innovations that will also find a market.  Any innovation must make economic sense to be sustainable.  The private sector must therefore take the lead in greener, more sustainable innovation."

The Danish ambassador, Børge Petersen, will talk about the potential of transition to a circular economy.

“The benefits of a circular economy are more than just environmental, " he said. "A circular economy will also stimulate the competitiveness of companies, and significant economic growth and jobs for society at large.  Danish companies have a longstanding experience in smart design, recycling and waste management. There is a clear potential for increased business opportunities between Europe and Australia in these areas.”

Minister Ayres said the green economy was opening up new business opportunities for NSW in the clean energy, green building and water and waste management sectors.

"The job and employment opportunities are across NSW not just our innovative global city, Sydney, which is a hub of commercial activity with a strong presence and investments from European companies," the Minister said.

The panel event will be held from 8.45 am to 12.45 pm on Tuesday, 31 May 2016, at the Sydney Business College, Level 17, 133 Castlereagh Street in Sydney. A light lunch and drinks will be provided after the event.

Media representatives are welcome to attend the event and are encouraged to register their interest with Nick Pedley from the EU Delegation in Canberra on 02 6271 2744.

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