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First EU event at Expo 2020 focuses on European Green Deal


Over 100 international officials, policy makers and innovators attended on Sunday and Monday 3-4 October the first European Union event at Expo 2020 Dubai titled: ‘EU Green Deal: Research & Innovation as a driver towards climate neutrality’.

The event was hosted in partnership with the Sweden Pavilion in the Sustainability District and featured a high-level hybrid workshop; and a EU projects’ networking village showcasing success innovation stories and breakthroughs.

Ambassador Andrea Matteo Fontana, EU Commissioner-General to Expo said in his opening remarks:

“The EU is paving a responsible path to becoming the first climate neutral region in the world by 2050. So, at Expo 2020, we will look at how we can promote green economies, renewable energy, reduce pollution and tackle climate change, thereby ensuring a green economic recovery post-Covid19.” 

The aim of the event, taking place conveniently during Expo’s Climate and Sustainability Week and the EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks currently ongoing, is to highlight the EU’s excellence in research and innovation as a tool towards climate neutrality and sustainability, and the EU’s ambition of cooperating with partners toward the achievement of this global goal.

Ms Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, highlighted during her message at the event that research and innovation are at the centre of the EU action against climate change. Ms Gabriel stated:

“Without Research and Innovation we will not make it. In May, the EU presented the Communication on the Global Approach to Research and Innovation, committed to support and give impetus to multilateral partnerships addressing the green and digital transitions, and global health. Mission Innovation also shows the benefits of a global approach, harnessing the ingenuity of scientists and engineers around the world to accelerate the clean energy transition.”

“While Covid-19 has presented serious challenges to societies, individuals and businesses. There is today an opportunity to use this disruption as a catalyst for positive change: Building back better, greener and in a more gender-neutral way are key goals.” noted H.E. Jan Thesleff, Commissioner General at the Swedish Committee for the participation at Expo 2020, Co-Chair of the MENA-OECD Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum.

Other high level officials and policy makers addressed the event including H.E. Jan Budaj, Minister of Environment, Slovak Republic, H.E. Natasa Pilides, Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Republic of Cyprus, Dr Hannah Neumann, Member of European Parliament chairing the Delegation for Relations with the Arab Peninsula, Dr. Mohamed Al Rashidi, Director of Electricity & Water Department and Acting Director of Energy, Gulf Cooperation Council - General Secretariat, Ms Gauri Singh, Deputy Director General of IRENA and others.

During the workshop, the high-level experts presented the new EU research and innovation programme (Horizon Europe) and discussed ways to promote and finance clean energy innovation, featuring the ambitions activities of Mission Innovation, a key multilateral initiative in the context of the European Green Deal that the EU is presently co-chairing. Moreover, the event included debates with industry, representatives of research, innovation and financial institutions on financing innovations for the energy transition and on implementing energy transition projects.

The networking village featured successful EU projects and breakthroughs that already help deliver the European Green Deal objectives and climate neutrality, including in partnership with Mission Innovation members.

members. These were made possible thanks to the support received from the EU’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments.

The ΕU will continue to have a strong presence at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Find out more about the upcoming events and activities by visiting the European Union’s dedicated Expo website. Follow @EUintheUAE to stay up to date regarding #EUatEXPO activities.