Natural environment  |  Events  |  09.11.2011

The Green Race to Durban and Beyond

The Greens/ EFA Group organises an interactive debate on the comparability, competitiveness and compatibility of climate actions around the world.  The event aims to transcend the usual theoretical discourse and provoke a real debate on climate change and the characteristics of a Green economy. Its format has been designed in such a way that it will allow all actors, together with all the interested parties, to exchange thoughts as freely as possible.

EVENT: Debate 

DATE: 9 November 2011, 10:30 - 20:00

PLACE: European Parliament, Room P3C50, 60 rue Wiertz, Brussels

Many would acknowledge that the recent international climate discussions have been quite disappointing. In Copenhagen in 2009 – despite great hopes and a strong mobilisation of many actors and civil society actors, nothing substantial was agreed upon. Last year in Cancun, the same discussions restored a relatively fragile trust in the system but failed to deliver a strong agreement to reduce global warming that meets targets specified by the IPCCC. So while some small progress was made in Cancun and also this year, there are still things to worry about and the current talks leave many of us powerless, if not totally discouraged. Nevertheless, although very precious time has been lost, this should not be the same case with hope!

The Greens/EFA Group thinks it is of key importance to put the discussions on climate change and the future of our planet back on the political agenda. Ahead of the next climate discussions in South Africa at the end of the year, it is urgent to have a fresh and frank – perhaps controversial - look at the current state of our planet and the worldwide economy.


10.30-11.00 Introduction - Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA group & Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International


  • Plugging the gap - Strengthening the international effort on climate change: What extra effort is needed to limit global warming to 2°C? Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Europe and China: who is faster in implementing climate change policies? Dr. Niklas Höhne, Director of Energy and Climate Policy at Ecofys, Climate action Tracker

Moderator Leigh Phillips - journalist - EU Observer 

Special guests

  • Samantha Smith, Leader of the Global Climate & Energy Initiative WWF- Norway
  • Alfredo Sirkis, Member of the Parliament, Brazil, Chairman of the Congress Sub-commission for the Rio + 20 Conference and member of the Foreign Affairs and National Defence Commission.
  • Tomasz Chruszczow, Director, Department of Climate Change and Atmosphere Protection, Polish Ministry of the Environment
  • Folker Franz, Industrial Affairs Director Busines Europe
  • Bas Eickhout, MEP

13.00-15.00 Lunch with guests (on invitation only) (2h)


  • Greening the global energy supply: which countries are the most attractive for investment in renewable generation? Phil Dominy, Senior Executive, Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index Ernst & Young
  • What type of Green economy is needed to respond to the global competition and financial crises? Professor Jim Watson - Director, Sussex Energy Group; Research Fellow, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. University of Sussex. Brighton

Moderator - Joshua Chaffin - journalist - Financial Time

Special guests

  • Dr. Lawrence Jones, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Policy & Industry Relations, Alstom Grid
  • Christopher Burghardt, Vice President Government Affairs EMEA, First Solar inc.
  • Patrick Artus, Chief economist Natixis (tbc)
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)


  • EU expectations for Durban, Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Commissioner
  • What strategy should the EU employ at the Climate discussions? Should Europe make a global agreement that allows for different ‘speeds’? Claus Leggewie from WBGU (German Advisory Council on Climate Change)

Moderator Fiona Harvey- journalist - Guardian

Special guests

  • Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International
  • Mr. Vicente Yu, Programme Coordinator of the Global Governance for Development Programme of South Center
  • Ian Fry, International Environmental Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, Government of Tuvalu (tbc)
  • Satu Hassi, MEP

 18.30 Conclusions - Rebecca Harms 

 18.30-20.00 Opening of the photography exhibition 'What would you save in a flood' (Altiero Spinelli Building G1/ balcony) and drinks with all participants