Sustainable Future Summit 2020
In 2000 people weren’t wearing shorts in January, school kids weren’t protesting against climate change, and consumerism was pretty much guilt free. Times have changed. Twenty years later, Black Friday is frowned upon, taking the plane isn’t cool anymore, and climate change has become an existential crisis.
That’s forcing a reassessment of whether our current lifestyle is sustainable — and there’s a growing conviction that it’s not.
One of the responses is the European Commission’s Green Deal, aimed at making the Continent carbon neutral by 2050. But it’s not just about cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The Green Deal affects all economic sectors, including transport, energy, fashion, agriculture, technology, trade, finances and more. If it is to work, we’ll have to use less energy, waste fewer materials and pollute much less — all of which will demand a redesign of just about every aspect of our lives — marshalling the EU, national and regional governments, businesses, banks and ordinary people.
To debate the sustainable challenge Europe is facing, POLITICO is hosting its second Sustainable Future Summit on December 2-3 in Brussels. We will start with a pre-summit day to examine how the supply chains that are a key to world economies should be rethought. From decarbonizing transport to finding alternatives for packaged goods and rethinking consumption habits, conversations are likely to be lively!
On the main day, we will deep dive into the European Green Deal. Our speakers will look at whether new and clean technologies will make a significant impact on climate change and if the circular economy model is more than a buzzword. They will also debate the Green Deal’s investment model, where the enormous investments will come from, and examine the political and economic challenges it poses. Because of the global nature of climate change, the summit will also look at the geopolitics of sustainability and the effort to set worldwide environmental standards through trade agreements, and look at the potential backlash from China and the U.S.