Brussels, 05/11/2014

Green Budget Europe Annual Conference: Recovery, Jobs and Sustainable Prosperity. A New Agenda for Green Fiscal Reform in Europe

Brussels, 5 November 2014, 09:00 – 19:00 hrs.
Norway House • Rue Archimède 17 • 1000 Brussels

Background

Programme & Presentations

Speakers

Photos

Background

The incoming European Parliament and Commission are confronted with great challenges, but also with a very real window of opportunity. Although it is already six years since the financial and economic crisis began, economic recovery, the creation of jobs and fiscal consolidation remain significant challenges in many of the EU member states. At the same time, member states are still struggling to meet EU targets for emission reduction and resource efficiency. It seems that the crisis may yet provide a window of opportunity for overdue policy changes to generate multiple benefits for the economy and the environment.

With the European Semester process, the EU has been trying to improve policy coordination between member states and to monitor their compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy, as well as their efforts to deliver on “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”.

Green fiscal reform, the consistent orientation of taxes and government spending towards environmental sustainability, has great potential to aid economic recovery, create jobs, consolidate budgets and to improve incentives for low-carbon and resource efficient economic development and investment.

The 2014 GBE Annual Conference provided a platform to discuss the potential of green fiscal reform to create jobs and aid economic recovery. We discussed the opportunities and shortcomings of the European Semester as a key process to move this agenda forward.

During the conference, key findings and experiences with green fiscal reforms were presented and discussed with stakeholders from business, labour unions, and social groups; recent successes and current challenges with green fiscal reforms in individual member states were presented; and the potential role of green fiscal reform in the European Semester process and for economic recovery was evaluated with representatives from the EU institutions and environmental groups.


Programme & Presentations

09:00 Welcome and Introduction
Atle Leikvoll, Ambassador of Norway to the EU
Anselm Görres, President, Green Budget Europe
(Keynote Speech)

09:30 Keynotes: Never let a good crisis go to waste: green fiscal reform and sustainable recovery in Europe
Chair: Constanze Adolf, Director Brussels Office, Green Budget Europe

Rationale and design of a Green Fiscal Reform in Europe
Edoardo Croci, Professor at the University Bocconi Milano, Green Economy Observatory (Presentation)

The future of Europe's economic governance should be green
Yannis D. Palaiokrassas, Former European Commissioner and Greek Minister of Finance (Presentation)

10:30 Coffee Break

11:00 The effects of green fiscal reform on growth, jobs, social equity and sectorial competitiveness
Chair: Aldo Ravazzi-Douvan, Vice President, Green Budget Europe; Italian Ministry of Environment (Presentation)

Green fiscal reform as a stimulus for recovery and job creation
Samuel Fankhauser, co-Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics (LSE) (Presentation)
Discussant: Benjamin Denis, Advisor, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

Green fiscal reform and social equity
Thomas Sterner, Professor fpr Environmental Economics, University of Goteborg (Presentation)
Discussant: Barbara Helfferich, Director, European Anti-Poverty Network

Green fiscal reform and sectoral competitiveness
Michael Grubb, Professor for International Energy & Climate Policy, University College London (UCL); Senior Advisor, Sustainable Energy Policy Ofgem (Presentation)
Discussant: An Theeuwes, Chair Green Taxation Working Group, BUSINESSEUROPE

13:00 Lunch Break

14:00 Roundtable Discussion: Fiscal shift and re-orientating growth at the national level
Chair: Kai Schlegelmilch, Vice-President, Green Budget Europe (Presentation)

Green fiscal reform in Italy
Maria Teresa Monteduro, Director Finance Department, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Italy (Presentation)

Green fiscal reform in Portugal
Claudia Dias Soares, Professor at Catholic University of Portugal (Presentation)

Green fiscal reform in Norway
Jens Frølich Holte, Political Adviser, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment 

Motivating progress on environmental tax reform in Europe
Patrick ten Brink, Senior Fellow and Head of Brussels office, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) (Presentation)

Q&A with the audience

15:30 Coffee Break

16:00 Panel Debate: What perspectives for green fiscal reform in the next legislative period?
Chair: David Gee, Brunel University, formerly European Environment Agency

Christopher Boyd, European Semester Coordinator, DG Environment
Åsa Johannesson Lindén, Deputy Head of Unit, Economic Analysis of Energy, Transport, Climate Change and Cohesion Policy, DG for Economic and Financial Affairs
Philippe Lamberts, Co-Chair Group The Greens/European Free Alliance, European Parliament
Dirk Heilmann, Managing Partner Handelsblatt Research Institute and Chief Economist, Handelsblatt
Jeremy Wates, Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

17:00 Conclusions
Jacqueline Cottrell, Senior Policy Advisor, Green Budget Europe (Presentation)

17:30 Reception and Award Ceremony of the "2014 Green Budget Europe Environmental Fiscal Reformer of the Year"
Aldo Ravazzi-Douvan, Vice President, Green Budget Europe (Presentation)

To download a pdf version of the programme, please click.

 

Speakers

For an overview of all the speakers, their background and contacts, please click.

 

Photos


Anselm Görres, President of Green Budget Europe, welcomes the participants to the Conference


Edoardo Croci, University Bocconi Milano, Green Economy Observatory, gives his keynote speech


Yannis D. Palaiokrassas, Former European Commissioner and Greek Minister of Finance, gives the second keynote speech of the day 


Aldo Ravazzi-Douvan, Vice-President of Green Budget Europe, introduces the Italian Presidency as partner of the Conference


Prof. Samuel Fankhauser, LSE, and Benjamin Denis, ETUC, during the second session discussing green fiscal reform as a stimulus for recovery and job creation


Q&A session with the audience


Prof. Michael Grubb, UCL, and An Theeuwes, Businesseurope, discuss the implications of green fiscal reform for sectoral competitiveness


Jens Frølich Holte, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, presents the initiatives taken in Norway


Jens Frølich Holte, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, Claudia Dias Soares, Catholic University of Portugal, Maria Teresa Monteduro, Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Kai Schlegelmilch, Green Budget Europe, during the roundtable discussion on fiscal shifts and re-orienting growth at the national level


Christopher Boyd, DG Environment
, Åsa Johannesson Lindén, DG for Economic and Financial Affairs, Philippe Lamberts, European Parliament, Dirk Heilmann, Handelsblatt, Jeremy Wates,EEB and David Gee, Brunel university, during the final panel debate


Prof. Thomas Sterner, University of Goteborg, is the "Environmental Fiscal Reformer of the year"


Award Ceremony


Reception at the end of the day


Reception at the end of the day