Written by Vasco Guedes Ferreira with Tobias Hoffmann.
A conference entitled ‘From a European to a global green’ held on 12 May 2022, organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and the Japan-based Science and Technology in Society forum focused on the transition to green energy in the European Union and the wider world.
The conference aimed to open a constructive exchange of views between leading experts on cooperation opportunities in science and technology in the EU, Japan and the rest of the world, which supports the leveraging of the ‘European Green Deal’ to achieve a ‘Global Green Deal’.
In his opening speech, STOA Chair Christian Ehler (EPP, Germany) highlighted that such discussions at the global level are vital to progress on ‘green’ ambitions, noting that ‘We have to “light the torch & carry it forward” like at the Olympics’. Chairman of the STS forum, Professor Hiroshi Komiyama agreed, responding ‘So all of us take action to reach a bright future, move in the right direction and transform society’.
The first panel focused on ‘Green, secure and affordable energy for Europe’ and promoted a debate on the energy dimension of the European Green Deal. Views and statements from the European Commission and the research and business communities on the implementation challenges were debated. President of the European Research Council (ERC), Maria Leptin stressed the important role of curiosity-driven research. She explained that, in her view, research unconstrained by policy priorities needs to be part of any programme and noted that ERC-funded research projects contribute to achieving the EU Green Deal’s ambitions. Panellists discussed possibilities as to how the EU could accelerate the implementation of energy and climate policies, as well as debating the link with energy security and the reduction of energy imports. Panellists highlighted the role of science and technology in ensuring a fair and inclusive clean energy transition, including the investigation of hydrogen technologies. Panellist and President of the German Leibniz Association, Matthias Kleiner emphasised the need for more renewable energy, transnational collaboration and fundamental research to achieve these goals.
The second panel focused on ‘The path to a Global Green Deal’, with the aim of exploring how international cooperation on science and technology could use the European Green Deal to trigger a global green transformation. Questions and discussions focused on how like-minded partners from around the world could work together towards achieving a more sustainable world. The panel promoted the need for dialogue between industry, society and policy-makers from Japan and elsewhere, and developed a shared vision of the challenges, but also potential science and technology breakthroughs. Further discussions also focused on how different approaches from various regions of the world could be brought together to boost shared knowledge
Closing the event, European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili emphasised the EU’s commitment to accelerate its efforts in implementing the European Green Deal, which should contribute to ensuring Europe’s energy independence. She also highlighted that STOA is working on a complete analysis of the current situation, including the development of a preparedness plan for Europe, which addresses food, energy and technological security. She invited the STS forum to continue its cooperation with the EU aiming for a more sustainable world that could ultimately contribute to greater geopolitical stability.