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A Sustainable Future for All: EU and US Efforts to Measure and Assess Progress towards a Sustainable and Resource Efficient Economy

A special EU Rendez-Vous on environment sustainability, jointly organized with the World Resources Institute (WRI), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Environment Agency (EEA), on the occasion of the first official visit to Washington, D.C., of European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.


Agenda

2:30 pm: Welcome remarks by David O'Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the United States

2:35 pm: Introduction by Dr. Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute

2:40 pm: Keynote speech by Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries:

The role of key international players in encouraging the shift to a more resource efficient world

2:55 pm: Panel discussion moderated by Dr. Andrew Steer, featuring:

  • Karmenu Vella
  • Dr. Hans Bruyninckx, Director, European Environment Agency
  • Jane Nishida, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for International Tribal Affairs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

3:40 pm: Coffee Break

3:55 pm: Panel discussion: Environmental Indicators: Advancing Common Approaches for Global Assessment

Presentations of "The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015" and the 2015 U.S. "Report on the Environment" followed by a moderated discussion with the audience

  • Dr. Hans Bruyninckx
  • Dr. Michael Slimak, National Program Director for Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Moderated by Leo Horn-Phathanothai, Director, International Cooperation, World Resources Institute

5:15 pm: Adjourn 

Background

With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set to be endorsed by the UN General Assembly at the end of September and in the run-up to the crucial international climate negotiations to be held in Paris in December, it could not be more timely to look at how to strengthen our societies' resilience, how to measure and reduce the environmental impacts of human activity, and how to build an innovative, circular economy.

Increasingly our environment and sustainability policies must be based on evidence and measurements that provide us with the best tools and opportunities for efficient and effective policies.

The recent "The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015" from the EEA and the "Report on the Environment" from US EPA assess the trends of environmental conditions in the EU and the US to inform environmental policy decisions. 

They provide a host of facts and figures, targets and indicators which can inform sustainability-oriented policies in the EU and the US but also for the global community: which ways and means can be explored and developed by the most developed economies to promote sustainability? How can we de-couple economic growth from resource use, setting the pace for a safe and sustainable global society? How can the circular economy help in achieving UN SDGs? What are the lessons learned from the EU and US experience in preparing their respective assessments?

 

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