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Green Week 2008: Only One Earth - Don't Waste It

Green Week 2008: Only One Earth - Don't waste it!

This year's Green Week, the biggest annual conference devoted to European environment policy, will take place from 3 to 6 June at the Charlemagne Building in Brussels. Under the slogan "Only One Earth - Don't waste it!" Green Week 2008 will focus on the need for Europe and the rest of the world to make its use of resources more sustainable.

In addition to 38 conference sessions, there will be an extensive side-events programme, including a ceremony on 3 June at which Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas will announce the winners of the European Business Awards for the Environment 2008. Eleven companies from seven Member States have been nominated.

Commissioner Dimas commented: "Mankind is consuming the Earth's natural resources at an alarming rate, yet few people realise how fast this is happening. We produce more waste than we can recycle as a useful resource. Urgent action is needed to raise public and political awareness and to reverse these trends. Green Week is an invaluable opportunity for the Commission and other EU institutions not only to explain what they are doing but also to listen to and learn from the wealth of expertise of a wide range of stakeholders."

3,000 - 4,000 participants

Now in its eighth year, Green Week has established itself as a major annual forum for dialogue and for sharing experience, expertise and best practice on the environment. It brings together some 3,000-4,000 representatives from different levels of government, international institutions, business, non-governmental organisations and the scientific and academic communities.

The ultimate objective is to find the most effective ways to protect and improve Europe's environment, now and for the future. Green Week is open to the public free of charge.

Under the over-arching theme of sustainable use of resources, Green Week 2008 is structured around four sub-themes: Resources and waste management; Sustainable consumption and production; Nature and biodiversity; and Climate change.

The 38 conference sessions will cover an extensive range of issues, from the Commission's plans to revise the EU Emissions Trading System to waste management challenges in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, from the economic effects of biodiversity loss to the application of Extended Producer Responsibility for products, and from water saving to the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels.

Commissioner Dimas will speak at the opening and closing sessions, while Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen and Commissioner for consumer protection Meglena Kuneva will also participate in sessions during the week.

Other speakers include:

* Janez Podobnik, Slovenian Environment Minister

* Anders Wijkman, MEP

* Angela Cropper, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme

* Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environment Agency

* Lorraine Bolsinger, Vice-President, General Electric

All sessions will be streamed live on the Green Week web site at

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/greenweek/home.html.

Side-events: Environment Business Awards and LIFE Awards

At a ceremony on the evening of 3 June Commissioner Dimas will announce the winners of this year's European Business Awards for the Environment and present them with trophies. The awards recognise "the Best of the Best" companies that have already won awards at national level. Eleven companies from seven Member States have been nominated out of 125 entries received, as follows:

* Management award: Terr'Avenir (France), The Co-operative Group Ltd (UK), TRIIP (Estonia)

* Product award: JCDecaux SA (France), Red Eléctrica de España (Spain), ertex-solar GmbH (Austria)

* Process award: CHOREN GmbH (Germany), DHV BV (Netherlands), Bayer AG (Germany)

* International Cooperation award: Windkraft Simonsfeld GmbH (Austria), KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) (Netherlands)

The ceremony will take place in the Bibliothèque Solvay in Parc Léopold, starting at 18.30. Attendance is by invitation only. Journalists wishing to attend should contact:

Katarzyna Wolos: +32.2.299.79.81 / Katarzyna.WOLOS@ec.europa.eu

Further information about the awards and nominees is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/awards/index_en.htm

On 4 June from 1400 to 1600 the five "Best of the Best" LIFE Environment projects 2007 will receive awards and give short presentations. The projects are in Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Greece and Italy.

Further information about the projects is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/bestprojects/index.htm

Further information:

Full programme and Press Room: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/greenweek/home.html

ENDS

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