The Swedish presidency hosted a two-day high-level conference in Stockholm, titled 'European Cities and the Global Climate Challenge', which focused on strengthening national and EU work on sustainable urban development and energy-smart construction.
The Swedish presidency believes Europeans need to improve the energy efficiency of the existing urban fabric, make new city districts low-carbon from the start and simultaneously address other aspects of sustainability. Looking beyond Europe, urbanisation in many developing countries unfolds at a never before seen scale and pace, which poses severe demands but also gives possibilities for a more sustainable future.
Moreover, the current financial crisis and economic downturn underscore the need to link sustainable economic development with measures that integrate policy responses to the climate crisis. The conference focused on how urban development, in Europe and elsewhere, can be part of broader policy agendas in tackling climate change.
Throughout the Swedish presidency, ministers of Energy, Environment and Competitiveness have held informal meetings under the title 'An eco-efficient economy in Europe'. The conference linked up the ideas from these meetings with the top priority given to the negotiations for a new, comprehensive global climate agreement. The Swedish presidency hopes that the discussions from the conference will provide valuable input to the run up to the December climate summit in Copenhagen.
Source: Swedish Presidency