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EU Green Week 2021

EU Green Week 2021 achieves wide-scale mobilization for healthier people and planet. This year’s edition of EU Green WeekEurope’s biggest annual environmental event, has closed with record involvement from citizens and stakeholders around the EU. Dedicated to the EU ambition of a zero pollution, the event zoomed in on efforts to tackle pollution of air, soil and water, creating a world where pollution is no longer harmful for people’s health and ecosystems.

From invisible particles in the air we breathe, chemicals in the soil that sustains us, to plastics in our seas, pollution affects us all. In May, the European Commission presented the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan playing out this vision and proposing actions and targets how to get there. EU Green Week brought different groups in society together with stakeholders and policymakers to thrash out solutions and discuss how we can all work together to make our ambition for a zero pollution, toxic-free environment a reality. Reducing pollution requires clean choices for regional and urban mobility and energy, investments in buildings and infrastructure, as well as overall spatial planning.

The event included an opening event in Lahti, a high-level virtual conference in Brussels with numerous thought-provoking discussions on the links between healthy lives and the environment, the relationship between pollution and biodiversity, as well as ways to inspire eco-friendly habits.

With almost 600 partner events in 44 countries around Europe – from workshops for kids, discussions on green recovery, hackathons, clean-up actions and citizen engagement activities – Green Week highlighted the power of small individual actions alongside the structural changes that the European Green Deal aims to bring about.  

People of all ages and all walks of life – from artists, footballers to chefs – demonstrated how important tackling pollution is to all parts of society. Over 5 300 people attended the virtual conference, and an estimated 80 000 participated in partner events.

Opening the conference, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said:

It is painfully clear that human activity has negative impacts on other forms of life. Pollution is threatening the survival of more than one million plant and animal species, on land and at sea. It is one of the five leading causes of biodiversity loss. We cannot be negligent any longer. Thus, we are determined to tackle this challenge through our European Green Deal.

Closing the event, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:

It has been very inspiring to see so many people interested in zero pollution and determined to work towards delivering healthier people and planet. Our task is now to use this energy and turn it into a lasting engagement to the benefit of a clean and healthy planet for all. The zero pollution ambition is not only a political or technological challenge. We need to mobilise creativity and ingenuity all across society, and in particular young people.This will be essential to succeed in a just transition where everybody is on board, and to create a Europe that’s fairer, and more equal.

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What did we do at EU Green Week 2021?

Check out our daily reports, published at the end of each day, as well as our conclusions of the week’s activities.